Resilience and Beliefs in the Effectiveness of Current Antiretroviral Therapies Among Recently Disengaged Low-Income People of Color Living with HIV

J. Jaiswal, S. N. Singer, H. M. Lekas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Consistent antiretroviral adherence is key to viral suppression, but many low-income people of color living with HIV are not optimally adherent due to a wide variety of interrelated social and structural factors. Previous studies have found that HIV medication beliefs are an important facet of adherence. In contrast to the AZT era, currently available antiretroviral therapies are significantly safer and more effective, but research suggests that negative beliefs may persist among racial and ethnic minority people. Twenty-seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with low-income Black and Latinx people living with HIV in New York City that were currently, or had been recently, disengaged from outpatient HIV medical care. This research suggests that socially and economically marginalized people living with HIV, many long-term survivors who lived through the AZT era, recognized that current treatments are very effective in making HIV a chronic, manageable illness and a significant improvement compared to the therapies early in the epidemic. Most importantly, the data suggests that people demonstrate great resilience despite their experiences of social and economic exclusion. Both clinical practice and public health interventions can benefit from these findings. HIV care providers should speak with patients about their beliefs related to HIV medication, and public health interventions should specifically address HIV medication-related beliefs in order to enhance adherence. In order to avoid reifying people’s marginalization, public health should endeavor to recognize and support people’s resilience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2020

Keywords

  • ART adherence
  • ART beliefs
  • HIV care
  • HIV medication
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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