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Healthcare disparities and cultural implications in HIV/AIDS care among sub-Saharan African-born immigrants

<p> The primary purpose of this study was to explore ways migration experiences and cultural factors influence how sub-Saharan African-born immigrants diagnosed with HIV access medical and psychological health services in the United States. The study was conducted with African-born immigrants diagnosed with HIV. The participants were all members of a support group. The data was obtained through two focus group interviews. Qualitative methodology with thematic analysis was used. The findings of the study yielded six salient themes: (a) factors contributing to healthcare disparities; (b) emotional distress and psychosocial adjustment; (c) positive emotional wellness and support; (d) education as criteria to eliminate disparities; (e) stigmatization by interpreters; and (f) belief in God. Based on these findings, the following recommendations for reducing healthcare disparities among sub-Saharan African-born immigrants diagnosed with HIV were suggested: (a) provide culturally sensitive services that meet the needs of the population; (2) include clients in selecting their interpreters; and (3) provide in-depth education to clients and patients about their mental health with consideration for cultural meaning. Mental health providers are encouraged to seek some level of understanding about their patients&rsquo; perceptions of mental health symptoms and use culturally sensitive resources as an aid in providing services. The use of a collaborative and multidisciplinary team approach to care is likely to improve health seeking behaviors. Suggestions for mental health clinicians and implication for future research are discussed in the last section. </p><p> Key Words: healthcare disparities, stigma, HIV/AIDS, African-born immigrants, mental health, support, interpreters, refugees.</p>
Date22 December 2015
CreatorsBallah-Swaray, Vivian K.
PublisherSaint Mary's University of Minnesota
Detected LanguageEnglish

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