Despite the wide availability of effective treatments for HIV disease, many HIV-infected individuals are not in care, and HIV-infected women, particularly those residing in resource-poor areas, may have greater difficulty accessing HIV care than men. The purpose of this research was to explore perceived barriers to care experienced by HIV-infected women living in the Deep South region of the United States. Qualitative research methods were used to generate in-depth descriptions of women's experiences in accessing HIV care. Participants (N = 40) were recruited from 4 community-based HIV service organizations to participate in focus groups. Sessions lasted approximately 2 hours and were audio recorded. Verbatim transcripts, demographic data, and observational notes were subjected to content analysis strategies that coded the data into categories. Five categories of barriers to HIV care were identified as follows: personal, social, financial, geographic/transportation, and health system barriers. Implications of the findings for future research and practice are discussed in this study.
Copyright © 2010 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.