Doctoral Dissertation Social Categories and Health Care Outcomes: HIV Positive African American Women and Survival in the Urban South

  • Anglin, Mary (PI)
  • O'Daniel, Alyson (CoI)

Grants and Contracts Details


Problem Statement: Social scientific analyses of poor health outcomes among 14W positive African American women focus primarily on access to health care and anti-retroviral therapies. Such studies leaved unexamined experiences of survival with HIV disease among women receiving health care and supportive services. While federally funded social programs seek to increase Black women's access to and retention in health care and supportive programs, they remain at increased risk for HIV-related mortality. Through a research design focused on ethnographic examination of the interactions among macro-level policy and the micro-level contexts of lived experience, this ethnographic project illuminates the social processes circumscribing survival with HIV disease, making clear the institutional and daily life contexts of HIV positive African American women's lives. Methods and Analysis: This research uses multiple methods of data collection. In-depth interviewing (30-40 participants) and participant observation (6 participants) with African American women of varying socioeconomic circumstances will examine the daily life conditions under which study participants utilize programmatic services, and the social and economic processes shaping participants' experiences and perceptions of survival with l-{IV disease. Interviews will also be conducted with women of other racial/ethnic backgrounds (6-8) as a way to attend to sources of variability, other than socioeconomic context, among women. Interviews with service providers (10-15 participants) and participant observation among a federally-funded HIV health coalition will focus on providing an institutional context that is responsive to the perspectives of service providers and the ways in which federal funding provisions and policy procedures shape the available range of health services. Data will be analyzed with respect to the interactions among three key relationships: living conditions and health needs, services reception and experiences and perceptions of survival, and federal and state policy and the structure and content of AIDS services. Intellectual Merit: Using a political economic medical anthropology and intersectionality theoretical framework, this study addresses how the meanings of race are revealed through health circumstances. This theoretical framework makes central the range of conditions under which participants navigate health and survival. Teasing out the relationships among federal and state policy, the socioeconomic contexts of women's lives, and experiences with survival, the research is designed to explore the differences among African American women receiving health services while sustaining focus on the social processes shaping women's social locations as women of color within the institutional context of AIDS care and support services. Broader Impacts: Because the experiences of African American receiving health services are underrepresented in analyses of HIV health disparities and service provision outcomes, this research deepens understandings of their struggles to maintain and/or recover health. By explicating the range of living conditions and experiences among Black women living with WV disease, this research can inform local strategies for improving the provision of current support services as well as efforts to build new health programs aimed at alleviating disparities in HIV health.
Effective start/end date8/15/087/31/09


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