Examining Family Networks of HIV+ Women in Drug Recovery: Challenges and Opportunities

Victoria B. Mitrani, Nomi S. Weiss-Laxer, Christina E. Ow, Samantha Ross-Russell, Myron J. Burns, Daniel J. Feaster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


HIV/AIDS is recognized as affecting and being affected by the family. HIV+ women in drug recovery and their families are particularly at risk due to family disruption and stigma. Yet family research with HIV+ adults is hampered by the challenges of defining the family, engaging family members into research, and tracking changes in family composition. In this paper we describe the family context of 144 HIV+ women in drug abuse recovery who are enrolled in a randomized trial of a family intervention to improve medication adherence and reduce relapse. Family was defined to include the women's household members, romantic partners, children and their caregivers, and others identified as a major source of support. The women reported on a total of 651 family members. We describe the family and household networks, romantic partnerships, and parenting arrangements of our participants. We also describe family member enrollment in the research study and the stability of romantic partnerships, parenting, and living arrangements over 1 year. We conclude with methodological implications for future family based clinical research with HIV+ adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-283
Number of pages17
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • family
  • substance abuse
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology


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