HIV has been a topic discussed in the closet, especially in the early 90s. With the evolution of technology and science, HIV has become a disease like any other but only requires serious medical attention. Women living with HIV from the African American community ultimately disregard the HIV medication regimen (Brown & Tabi, 2013). This shows that many women who seek health services from hospitals to access antiretroviral therapy and drugs fill the pinch of the cost of such services hence prefer to use that money to buy basic human needs. Providers of the services are accustomed to African American women living with HIV deferring medication due to poverty and lack of education. Very few African American women follow the regimen strictly, and the larger proportion of the group lacks health care provision that is instrumental in curbing HIV prevalence within the community.
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African American women living with HIV have been statistically identified as the largest group in America to contract the virus at high rates (Seth, Wingood, Robinson, & DiClemente, 2014). It is estimated that over 60% of women with HIV are from African American communities (Baker, Rodgers, Davis, Gracely, & Bowleg, 2014). Most of the African American people lack education and basic human wants such as food and shelter. The lack of these necessities facilitates the channel to get infected with HIV. Apart from most African American women living with HIV lacking basic learning, they have no health insurance, which could help them understand and keep in check while living with HIV.
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to establish the association between HIV treatment conformity and social support among African American women with HIV. The high numbers of women of African American descent living with HIV is an obstacle for them to access health services because of stigma (Wingood et al., 2013). This causes shame as one is easily segregated from the community due to the infection. Attributable to the fact that one will be shunned by the community because of the HIV infection, many women living with HIV would rather keep it to themselves than suffer segregation and malice. Many women from the community prefer hiding their status to avoid rejection from their families as it could be devastating. Social support from communities, churches, and families has a great impact on the reduction of HIV infection (Sutton & Parks, 2013). Increasing awareness and importance of following a strict medication regimen and creating a platform for obtaining quality healthcare are crucial in curbing the increase of HIV infection and mortality.
Stigma has been part of a major issue that affects women living with HIV. Treatment compliance and social support have a great impact on the reduction of HIV infection; thus, increasing awareness and the importance of observing a strict medication regimen increases treatment and quality of life. This study establishes a poor connection between HIV treatment conformity and social support amid African American women with HIV, which needs to be addressed.
Baker, J. L., Rodgers, C. R., Davis, Z. M., Gracely, E., & Bowleg, L. (2014). Results from a secondary data analysis regarding satisfaction with health care among African American women living with HIV/AIDS. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 43(5), 664-676.
Brown, L., & Tabi, M. M. (2013). Increasing HIV/AIDS awareness among African-American women: An exploratory study. Journal of National Black Nurses’ Association, 24(1), 48-54.
Seth, P., Wingood, G. M., Robinson, L. S., & DiClemente, R. J. (2014). The impact of alcohol use on HIV/STI intervention efficacy in predicting sexually transmitted infections among young African-American women. AIDS and Behavior, 18(4), 747-751.
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Sutton, M. Y., & Parks, C. P. (2013). HIV/AIDS prevention, faith, and spirituality among black/African American and Latino communities in the United States: Strengthening scientific faith-based efforts to shift the course of the epidemic and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Journal of Religion and Health, 52(2), 514-530.
Wingood, G. M., DiClemente, R. J., Robinson-Simpson, L., Lang, D. L., Caliendo, A., & Hardin, J. W. (2013). Efficacy of an HIV intervention in reducing high-risk HPV, non-viral STIs, and concurrency among African-American women: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 63(1), 36.