Center Assistant Director Libby Bogdan-Lovis co-authored the article “‘‘She Told Them, Oh That Bitch Got AIDS’’: Experiences of Multilevel HIV/AIDS-Related Stigma Among African American Women Living with HIV/AIDS in the South,” published in the July 2016 issue of AIDS Patient Care and STDs.
The article, authored by Faith Fletcher, PhD, MA, Lucy Annang Ingram, PhD, MPH, Jelani Kerr, PhD, MSPH, Meredith Buchberg, MPH, Libby Bogdan-Lovis, and Sean Philpott-Jones, PhD, MSB, uses narrative data to explore the stigma that HIV-positive African American women living in the southern United States face in their daily lives. The text is available in full on the AIDS Patient Care and STDs website.
Abstract: African American women bear a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS in the United States. Although they constitute only 13% of the US population, African Americans account for nearly 65% of all new HIV infections among American women. In addition, this population suffers comparatively greater adverse health outcomes related to HIV status. African American women living with HIV in the South may be further burdened by HIV/AIDS stigma, which is comparatively more pronounced in this region. To further explore this burden, we used narrative data and the Social Ecological Model to explore how African American women living with HIV in the US South recount, conceptualize, and cope with HIV/AIDS stigma at interpersonal, community, and institutional levels. Our narrative analysis suggests that HIV-positive African American women living in the South are vulnerable to experiences of multilevel HIV stigma in various settings and contexts across multiple domains of life. Stigma subsequently complicated disclosure decisions and made it difficult for women to feel supported in particular social, professional and medical settings that are generally regarded as safe spaces for noninfected individuals. Findings suggest that the debilitating and compounded effect of multilevel HIV/AIDS stigma on HIV-positive African American women in the South warrants closer examination to tailor approaches that effectively address the unique needs of this population.
To learn more about Dr. Faith Fletcher’s work in this area, visit our webinar archive to watch her lecture “Ethical Implications of HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for African American Women and Adolescent Girls,” recorded in February 2016 as part of our Bioethics Brownbag & Webinar Series.