142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Use of Alternative Medicine Among African Americans: Implications for ART Adherence

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:10 PM - 3:30 PM

Donna M. Cole, Ph.D., MPH, M.Ed. , Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
Since the beginning of the epidemic, HIV/AIDS has taken a vast toll on many populations, particularly African Americans. African Americans continue to face a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS incidence, prevalence, and mortality.  Since the epidemic began, more than 260,000 African Americans have died an AIDS related death.  One of the major reasons for increased AIDS related mortality among African Americans is non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy (Nelson, 2003, Johnson 2004, Sharpe 2008). Non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy is best understood within a historical context of plantation medicine. Specifically, the presentation describes the influences of how historically rooted traditions and living in racially segregated communities inform  intergenerational messages on non-adherence to antiretroviral therapy and the value of adhering or maintaining traditions and familial messages.  Hence, this presentation presents data generated from a cross sectional mixed methods study entitled, "The Role of Illness Representation on ART Adherence Among African American Women".  The study results and the implications for understanding and addressing African Americans tendency to use alternative and complementary medicine for HIV/AIDS related illness are presented.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Explaining the historical context of plantation medicine, I will discuss the use of non-conventional medicine among African Americans. Utilizing data from my study on antiretroviral therapy adherence among HIV positive African American women, I will discuss my findings which show a strong tendency to use alternative and complementary medicine for the treatment of HIV related illness. It is my goal to demonstrate how traditions and intergenerational messages impact African American health beliefs and ultimately health behavior in contemporary society.

Keyword(s): Alternative and Complementary Health, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am principal investigator on my NIMH funded grant to examine barriers to antiretroviral therapy adherence among African American women. I am very concerned with the high prevalence of AIDS related mortality among African Americans and am committed to the examination of barriers to ART adherence, HIV stigma reduction and improving the quality of life of people living with HIV/AIDS.
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.