239838 Characteristics of Social Support Amongst People with HIV in Extreme Poverty in Lima, Peru: An Exploratory Study at the Beginning of HAART

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 12:30 PM

Chloe Waters, MSW, MPH , Department of Global Health, University of Washington School of Public Health, Seattle, WA
Janeth Santa Cruz, RN , Socios En Salud Sucursal Peru, Lima, Peru
Milagros Wong, RN , Socios En Salud Sucursal Peru, Lima, Peru
Katrina Nelson, MPH, MSc , Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Arachu Castro, PhD, MPH , Department of Global Health and Social Medicine / Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
Maribel Munoz, RN , Socios En Salud Sucursal Peru, Lima, Peru
Sonya S. Shin, MD, MPH , Division of Global Health Equity, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
Background: Studies show that social support positively influences people's adherence to antiretrovirals, while stigma and poverty have profound negative effects on adherence and treatment outcome. This study explores how people living in extreme poverty experience social support when diagnosed with HIV and starting highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). Methods: Embedded in a larger study that assesses the effect of community-based accompaniment for people living with HIV (PLH), this is a cross sectional and exploratory study using purposive sampling of 15 PLH and their corresponding treatment supporters, i.e. a friend, partner or family member identified by the PLH as a requisite for starting treatment. Participants were interviewed using a semi-structured guide within a month of starting HAART. PLH were interviewed separately from their supporters. Qualitative analysis was used to identify themes related to social support, disclosure, and changes in social responsibility when receiving the diagnosis and starting treatment. Results: Key informal social networks were used by PLH for essential logistical and emotional support. Decisions related to disclosure and changes in PLH's social roles as a result of their diagnosis and illness resulted in changes in their social networks. Treatment supporters provided an important form of support for PLHs during this transitional time. Conclusion: At the time of diagnosis and HAART initiation, social support is imperative for the emotional and physical health of PLH. The specifics of the findings may inform programs promoting adherence to establish a strong support system accessible to the person with HIV.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
- List sources of social support used by people with HIV in extreme poverty in Lima, Peru, as they are just beginning treatment. - Explain the characteristics of the support (logistical or emotional) offered by the designated "treatment supporter", in comparison to other sources of support.

Keywords: Poverty, Community-Based Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Apart from assisting in the qualitative aspects of the proposed abstract on this research study, I have supported other qualitative research studies in Peru in the area of community/school collaborative interventions and communities organizing for water. I also have two years of experience working with people in Lima with MDR TB or HIV in the area of social support groups.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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