- Sources and Types of Social Support that Influence Engagement in HIV Care among Latinos and African Americans
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 20, Number 4, November 2009
- pp. 1012-1035
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- Additional Information
The change in HIV from acute to chronic disease due to the introduction of HAART in the mid-1990s increased the importance of its successful management and imposed substantial lifestyle adjustments on HIV-positive people and their support networks. Few studies have examined the sources and types of social support and the areas of care relevant for engagement in HIV treatment among HIV-positive Latinos and African Americans. This paper reports the results of 24 semi-structured in-depth interviews that were conducted with HIV-positive African American and Latino women and men who have sex with men. Formal networks were found to be more critical for engagement in HIV-specific medical care; specifically, study participants relied primarily on health care providers for support in accessing and maintaining illness-specific care. In contrast, informal networks (family and friends) were crucial for other general subsistence care, such as emotional, household-related, and financial support.