Voices of women facing HIV-related stigma in the Deep South

Michael V. Relf, Megan Williams, Julie Barroso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


One in 139 women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. Thirty-four years into the epidemic, stigma remains part of the trajectory of the disease process for all individuals with HIV. Stigma associated with HIV makes it difficult for women to access HIV testing and counseling, disclose HIV status to sexual partners and health care providers, seek and remain actively engaged in medical care, effectively self-manage the disease after diagnosis, and adhere to antiretroviral therapy. The current article reports the qualitative results from a study designed to test the feasibility and acceptability of a technologically delivered stigma intervention for women with HIV in the Southeastern United States. Qualitative analysis revealed women with HIV uniformly experience, anticipate, and/or internalize stigma associated with HIV. Consequently, women with HIV experience isolation and a threat to self-concept as they make decisions about disclosure, work to maintain the secrecy of their HIV status, and contemplate a future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-47
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of psychosocial nursing and mental health services
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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