Experiences of HIV-positive African-American and African Caribbean childbearing women: a qualitative study

University of Delaware School of Nursing, 25 N. College Avenue, McDowell Hall/Room 335, Newark, DE 19716, USA.
Journal of National Black Nurses' Association: JNBNA 07/2012; 23(1):21-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

This qualitative study examined the experiences of HIV-positive African-American and African Caribbean childbearing women related to decisions about HIV testing, status disclosure, adhering to treatment, decisions about childbearing, and experiences in violent intimate relationships. Twenty-three women completed a 60-minute in-depth interview. Six themes emerged: perceived vulnerability to HIV infection; feelings about getting tested for HIV; knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors after HIV diagnosis; disclosure of HIV status; living with HIV (positivity, strength, and prayer); and, experiences with physical and sexual violence. Three women (13%) reported perinatal abuse and 10 women (n = 23, 43.4%) reported lifetime abuse. Positive experiences and resilience were gained from faith and prayer. Most important to the women were the perceived benefits of protecting the health of their baby. Findings suggest that policies supporting early identification of HIV-positive childbearing women are critical in order to provide counseling and education in forming their decisions for safety precautions in violent intimate partner relationships.

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