142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Project THANKS (Turning HIV/AIDS into New Knowledge for Sisters): A health intervention strategy for HIV-positive ethnic minority women with comorbidities

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ndidi Amutah, PhD, MPH, CHES , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Upper Montclair, NJ
Meena Mahadevan, PhD., MHE , Department of Health and Nutrition Sciences, Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ
Introduction: Substance abusers with HIV are living longer as a result of advances in treatment but also face an increased risk for chronic diseases. This pilot study sought to explain how Black and Hispanic female substance abusers faced with a dual diagnosis of HIV and a chronic illness defined and conceptualized their own health; and to identify their beliefs and attitudes towards seeking health care from their perspective.

Methods: Project THANKS is an innovative and evidence-based intervention that uses a community-based participatory and empowerment building approach.It is implemented over seven 2-3 hour group sessions, and was piloted at a harm reduction agency in Paterson, NJ.  Data was collected using four focus groups (N=48), and a brief demographic questionnaire.

Results: Qualitative analysis revealed that women with HIV play a significant role in the families and relationships that they influence. Specifically, the women reported that a repertoire of individual (self efficacy in their ability to seek and receive care), interpersonal (social and lifestyle norms), and environmental (availability and access to culturally-relevant health education programs) factors have an impact on the health seeking behaviors of this population. The women also reported the complexities of balancing their dual responsibilities in the family as mothers and the role of caring for in addition to their HIV diagnosis.  

Conclusions: The findings suggest that comprehensive services that not only include culturally sensitive education components, but also strengthen and facilitate an individual’s existing personal, social, and environmental support networks are needed to improve health outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Chronic disease management and prevention
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify barriers to medication adherence among women of color with HIV who are currently using substances. Demonstrate the importance of utilizing community based participatory research methods in interventions regarding women of color who are HIV positive and exhibit difficulties managing comorbidities.

Keyword(s): Chronic Disease Management and Care, Women and HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am presenting research for a pilot study that I conducted examining the health seeking behaviors of HIV+ women of color who are currently substance users and managing comorbidities.
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.