Milken Institute School of Public Health Poster Presentations (Marvin Center & Video)

Title

"You can’t tell nobody": Fears Surrounding HIV Infection by Black Women

Poster Number

77

Document Type

Poster

Publication Date

3-2016

Abstract

Background: Limited attention and research has focused on prevention and reduction of HIV/AIDS infection among African American women. Studies of broader populations acknowledge to some extent the role that fears of infection and stigma play in delaying or preventing individuals from taking an HIV test or seeking care. However, few studies examine such fears exclusively among African American women.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to understand fears surrounding HIV infection among African American women.

Methodology: This qualitative study uses an applied research approach in order to derive recommendations to improve current HIV testing programs in Washington, D.C. Semi-structured interviews with low-income African American women explored general care preferences, fears associated with HIV infection, feelings associated with clinic based HIV testing.

Results: Twelve areas of fear emerged, including sharing one’s positive HIV status, paying for care, feeling/being along, being blamed, being shamed, not having emotional support, being treated differently, taking care of responsibilities, being stigmatized, infecting others, becoming sick and having to change one’s lifestyle. Topics that made participants feel most afraid elicited strong emotional and verbal reactions, indicating that the respondents had little to no control over the issue. These areas included being stigmatized, being treated differently, losing privacy and confidentiality, not being able to take care of one’s responsibilities.

Conclusion: HIV prevention and treatment organizations should consider integrating programming to address fears of stigma, being treated differently, losing privacy and confidentiality, and not being able to take care of one’s responsibilities. Inclusion of these concepts may reduce fears among African American women seeking HIV services.

Comments

Presented at: GW Research Days 2016

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"You can’t tell nobody": Fears Surrounding HIV Infection by Black Women

Background: Limited attention and research has focused on prevention and reduction of HIV/AIDS infection among African American women. Studies of broader populations acknowledge to some extent the role that fears of infection and stigma play in delaying or preventing individuals from taking an HIV test or seeking care. However, few studies examine such fears exclusively among African American women.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to understand fears surrounding HIV infection among African American women.

Methodology: This qualitative study uses an applied research approach in order to derive recommendations to improve current HIV testing programs in Washington, D.C. Semi-structured interviews with low-income African American women explored general care preferences, fears associated with HIV infection, feelings associated with clinic based HIV testing.

Results: Twelve areas of fear emerged, including sharing one’s positive HIV status, paying for care, feeling/being along, being blamed, being shamed, not having emotional support, being treated differently, taking care of responsibilities, being stigmatized, infecting others, becoming sick and having to change one’s lifestyle. Topics that made participants feel most afraid elicited strong emotional and verbal reactions, indicating that the respondents had little to no control over the issue. These areas included being stigmatized, being treated differently, losing privacy and confidentiality, not being able to take care of one’s responsibilities.

Conclusion: HIV prevention and treatment organizations should consider integrating programming to address fears of stigma, being treated differently, losing privacy and confidentiality, and not being able to take care of one’s responsibilities. Inclusion of these concepts may reduce fears among African American women seeking HIV services.