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African American Women With HIV in the United States


At present, HIV and AIDS are among the burning problems of humanity. Despite opportunities for prevention, the disease strikes many people. National minorities constitute one of the most vulnerable categories when it comes to HIV incidence. In the United States, the situation with African American women with HIV is dangerous. According to the epidemiologic reports, African American women are at higher risk for HIV (Sharpe, Voûte, Rose, Cleveland, Dean, & Fenton, 2012). It is not only the case of race. Other reasons for these statistics include poverty and poor access to healthcare facilities. African Americans make up 45% of new HIV diagnosed patients in the United States (Sharpe et al., 2012). Moreover, according to the information of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007 among 148,797 HIV-infected women 64% were black, and just 19% white (Sharpe et al., 2012). The situation is even more complicated since HIV patients often deny treatment which can help them lead the life of healthy people. Thus, there is a need for the study which will determine factors that can influence treatment compliance among African American women and provide support during the treatment process.

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Research Topic Rationale

The topic for the research is “A Study of the relationship between HIV treatment compliance and family support among African American women with HIV.” Thus, the supposition is that family can have a meaningful impact on HIV treatment compliance. The choice of the topic was conditioned by some reasons. First of all, it is the lack of research in the sphere of factors that have a positive influence on HIV treatment compliance and adherence. A study by Katz et al. (2013) reviews records on HIV adherence some of which report the importance of spouse, familial and peer support for HIV patients. The participants admitted this support as “critical for overcoming stigma and maintaining adherence, as was having a sense of obligation to family” (Katz et al., 2013, p.4). However, the research does not cover racial or gender aspects. Some research on the problem of the role of the family network in the healthcare for HIV patients was conducted by Mexican researchers (Silva & Tavares, 2015). They focused on patient adherence to antiretroviral therapy. Since therapy needs alterations in the daily routines of both patients and the surrounding people, the role of the family is stated as important (Silva & Tavares, 2015). Their research revealed the necessity of “a relationship of trust, without judgment” from healthcare providers and support and help from the family which “has strengthened infected women allowing them to receive help to be treated” (Silva & Tavares, 2015, p.2).

Thus, further research is needed to investigate the role of the family in support of HIV patients among African American women and their compliance to treatment. The research can be conducted with the application of statistical analysis using database 1. The statistical data analysis can provide information on the dependence of HIV treatment compliance on family support.


The role of the family is important in case of any illness, but it becomes critical for patients with diseases such as HIV. Family awareness of the treatment process and support can be a factor influencing HIV treatment compliance among African American women and thus result in better patient outcomes. The use of statistical analysis can give a more distinct picture of positive and negative family influence on female African American HIV patients’ treatment.


Katz, I.T., Ryu, A.E., Onuegbu, A.G., Psaros, C., Weiser, S.D., Bangsberg, D.R., & Tsai, A.C. (2013). Impact of HIV-related stigma on treatment adherence: systematic review and meta-synthesis. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 16(2), 1-26. Web.

Sharpe, T,T., Voûte, C., Rose, M.A., Cleveland, G., Dean, H.D., & Fenton, K. (2012). Social determinants of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among black women: Implications for health equity. Journal of Women’s Health, 21(3), 249-254. Web.

Silva, L.M., & Tavares, J.S. (2015). The family’s role as a support network for people living with HIV/AIDS: A review of Brazilian research into the theme. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, 20(4), 1109-1118.

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