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“Stigma and HIV Are Like Brother and Sister!”: The Experience of African-Born Persons Living with HIV in the US

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College of Pharmacy, The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 301 S Perimeter Park Drive, Suite 220, Nashville, TN 37211, USA
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Allina Health Uptown Clinic, 1221 West Lake St., Suite 201, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 232 Life Science Duluth, 111 Kirby Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55812, USA
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College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, 308 Harvard Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pharmacy 2020, 8(2), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy8020092
Received: 19 April 2020 / Revised: 26 May 2020 / Accepted: 28 May 2020 / Published: 30 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Medication Experiences)
Minnesota has seen an increase in the number of immigrants from Africa, notably in the mid-1990s, making up around 2% of Minnesota’s total population. This population also faces many impediments that cause important difficulties not only for HIV prevention but also for treatment and care options. The objectives of this study were to capture the experiences of Persons Living with HIV (PLWH) in Minnesota (US) and to elicit their stories about their diagnosis news and what management strategies they use for coping with the stigma associated with the disease. Participants were recruited via fliers in pharmacies, clinics, and HIV service centers located in Minnesota. Recruitment continued until thematic saturation was obtained. Fourteen subjects participated in audio-recorded, semi-structured interviews that were transcribed verbatim into written text. The transcriptions were analyzed using Thematic Analysis. Three themes emerged from the data. Theme 1: Cruel News: “HIV-Oooooo! I wish I was dead”, Theme 2: This is My Secret! and Theme 3: “Stigma and HIV are brother and sister”. The results demonstrate that stigma is an ever-present problem in African-born PLWH living in the US. Participants perceived the stigma associated with HIV status to affect their lives and culture at individual, familial, and societal levels. View Full-Text
Keywords: stigma; persons living with HIV; African-born stigma; persons living with HIV; African-born
MDPI and ACS Style

Cernasev, A.; Larson, W.L.; Peden-McAlpine, C.; Rockwood, T.; Ranelli, P.L.; Okoro, O.; Schommer, J.C. “Stigma and HIV Are Like Brother and Sister!”: The Experience of African-Born Persons Living with HIV in the US. Pharmacy 2020, 8, 92.

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