Resilience takes a village: black women utilize support from their community to foster resilience against multiple adversities

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20 Scopus citations


Black women living with HIV (BWLWH) represent the highest percentage of women with HIV in the U.S. and experience worse health outcomes than other women living with HIV, in part due to experiences of trauma, racism, HIV-stigma, and stressors they face as women. However, their own stories of resilience in the face of multiple adversities and insights of community stakeholders may inform our field on how to best empower this population to strive despite adversities. Thirty BWLWH in the U.S. and fifteen community stakeholders were interviewed about women’s experiences and adaptive coping strategies used to cope with trauma, racism, HIV-stigma, and gender-related stressors. Interviews were coded using thematic content analysis. A major theme that spanned across interviews with BWLWH and community stakeholders was that resilience was fostered by members of their “village”. In the midst of or following adverse experiences BWLWH used social support from their children, grandchildren, other family members, friends/peers, and caring providers in order to overcome their adversities and focus on their health and well-being. Promoting resilience among BWLWH requires an understanding of the most adaptive strategies utilized to “bounce back” following or in the face of adversities. Our findings highlight that both BWLWH and community stakeholders recognize social support from their “village” as an importance resilience resource. Research and applied efforts need to be geared at strengthening both BWLWH and their “village” in order to promote resilience and reduce health disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S18-S26
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue numbersup5
StatePublished - Aug 23 2018


  • Black women
  • HIV
  • Resilience
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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