Re-entry experiences of Black men living with HIV/AIDS after release from prison: Intersectionality and implications for care

Soc Sci Med. 2018 Aug:211:78-86. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2018.06.003. Epub 2018 Jun 12.

Abstract

Rationale: Both the HIV epidemic and incarceration disproportionately affect Black men in the United States. A critical period for incarcerated Black men living with HIV/AIDS is re-entry into the community, which is often associated with adverse health outcomes. Additionally, Black men living with HIV/AIDS involved in the criminal justice system are burdened by multiple, intersecting disadvantaged identities and social positions.

Objective: This study aimed to examine community re-entry experiences among Black men living with HIV/AIDS from an intersectional perspective.

Method: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 incarcerated Black men in Wisconsin, at pre-release from prison and six months after re-entry. Thematic analysis guided by intersectionality theory was used to analyze interview transcripts.

Results: Seven emerged themes included Intersectional Identities and Social Positions, Family Support, Neighborhood Violence, Relationship with Law Enforcement, Employment, Mental Health Concerns, and Medical Care and Medication Management. Intersecting identities and social positions interact with factors at multiple levels to inform health and HIV care. A conceptual framework was developed to illustrate relationships among themes.

Conclusions: Findings demonstrate the relevance of intersectionality theory in HIV care with Black men involved in criminal justice system. Incorporating a social-ecological perspective into intersectionality framework could be useful in theoretical and empirical research. Disenfranchised communities may particularly benefit from interventions that address community- and systemic-level issues.

Keywords: Black men; HIV/AIDS; Incarceration; Intersectionality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Black or African American / ethnology
  • Black or African American / psychology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prisons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Wisconsin