Black older women living with HIV (BOWLH) in the United States are disproportionately affected by HIV infection and poor treatment engagement rates, often caused by multiple social determinants of health. In this descriptive qualitative study, we interviewed 17 BOWLH to investigate the facilitators and barriers to HIV treatment engagement. Data were analyzed using the socioecological framework. Findings demonstrate the positive influences of supportive social networks, perceived benefits, HIV-related knowledge, raising HIV awareness in communities, and impact of HIV state laws. The highlighted barriers were mainly low income, substance use, HIV-related stigma, influence of stereotypes and assumptions about older women living with HIV, and health insurance. Religion, managing comorbidities, attitude toward, HIV disclosure, and caregiving roles had both positive and negative influences on engagement. These findings illuminate factors of HIV treatment engagement that might be culturally founded; disseminating these factors to health care professionals is a critical intervention to support this population.
- Black women
- HIV treatment engagement
- health disparities
- qualitative descriptive study
- socioecological factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing