Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

A Qualitative Analysis of Family Support among Older Seropositive African American Msm

Academic journal article Journal of Cultural Diversity

A Qualitative Analysis of Family Support among Older Seropositive African American Msm

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Although there is a wide array of studies that include the importance of family relationships among the HIV community, data is somewhat inconsistent among the African American community. African Americans have experienced both positive and negative familial reactions, which is why collecting data from both perspectives is needed to form effective strategies to engage families.

literature review

In addition to certain risk factors, some which may be potentially unknown is an ever-evolving body of research among the connections in an HIV-positive African American man's life. These connections include networks of familial relationships and social networks of other African American men that are in the same position (Schneider et al., 2012). The research has focused on the degree to which some African American men who have sex with men (MSM) have been receiving social support and how a higher rate of claimed support can result in lower rates of sexual risk (Schneider et al., 2012).

Social Support Networks

Other forms of care and support, such as financial support, emotional, and families especially, but also friends can play a huge role in subsistence care (George et al., 2009). Looking at forms of familial and social support is significant because these forms can be excellent vehicles for HIV care (George et al., 2009). Recognizing to what extent these forms of support are present [or not] can be helpful in determining the overall most effective types of support for specific situations.

Community Support

There has been noticeable support from churches in the African American community. General care needs have been sought out in the form of churches, but this is not always the case (George et al., 2009). A 2012 study gave an inconclusive and wide array of answers regarding disclosing HIV status to family members (Balaji et al., 2012). The answers included the reactions from telling a family member(s) about the HIV status. Reaction results varied from "initial abandonment" to "support." Many of the families who had initially leaned toward abandonment had later found a way to reconcile in the form of "don't ask, don't tell" (Balaji et al., 2012).

Since there has been little focus over the years on African American men who have sex with men (MSM), a more intense study of that subpopulation and the relationship with family members, non-family, and created family will be substantially helpful in discovering better methods of prevention (Arnold & Bailey, 2009). Because little is known about how seropositive African American MSM experience family support the purpose of this study was to collect qualitative perspectives about family support from a group of seropositive African American MSM 50 years and older.

METHODS

Procedure

The study received the approval from the Institutional Review Board. Verbal and written consent wad provided to study participants provided, as well as a copy of the consent form. After approval N=30 seropositive African American MSM 50 years and older were recruited to participate in focus groups. The study took place in 2012 within a university research center. The purpose of the focus groups was to gain perspectives about family support from seropositive African American MSM 50 years and older. Saturation was reached with both focus groups.

Data Collection

The participants completed a brief demographic questionnaire and clarified any remaining questions about the purpose of the study. A focus group guide was used to guide the collection of data in a private room. A total of N = 30 seropositive African American MSM 50 years and older chose to participate in focus groups. Each participant was compensated with $20 and refreshments for their participation. The groups were divided into groups of 15, and both groups lasted two hours when saturation was reached. The focus guide consisted of a set of open-ended questions to elicit responses about the participant's perspectives about how their families are supporting them within the context of living with HIV. …

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