HIV/AIDS disease continues to be an escalating health problem, particularly among women. However, African American women are among the leading demographic groups for HIV prevalence in the United States. The typical woman with HIV/AIDS is young, in her late twenties, economically challenged, and of childbearing age. Participants were recruited from an HIV/AIDS outpatient clinic to explore their perceptions of social support, life experiences and marriage. Data were collected through tape-recorded interviews using a semi-structured guide and journaling. Participants reported that most of their time was spent providing care for their husbands who were HIV-positive. Very often their health and well-being were compromised by providing care to others. Participants reported a lack of social support and challenges managing their self-care.


Marriage, HIV/AIDS Medication Adherence, Perceived Social Support, Qualitative Study, African-American Women


The first author wishes to acknowledge Jean R. Anderson, MD, Patricia Paluzzi, DrPH, Rena Boss-Victoria, DrPH, and all of the women at the Johns Hopkins HIV Women's Health Program. A poster presentation of these findings will presented at the American Public Health Association's 138th Annual Meeting and Expo - November 6 - 10, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.

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