HIV/AIDS, African American women, Southeast U. S., Prevention, Human Rights, Rights-based approach


In the US alone, 84 percent of women’s HIV infections are due to heterosexual contact (CDC 2013). Fifty percent of all people globally who are living with HIV/AIDS are women (UNAIDS 2009), yet, HIV-positive women’s perspectives on prevention are mostly missing from the trajectory of scholarly literature on HIV/AIDS. I thought it imperative to go to the source (women living with HIV/AIDS) to get an insiders perspective on HIV prevention. Thirty HIV-positive Black women were recruited to participate in the study, which lasted seven months. These women live in a Florida innercity and range in age from 21 to 60. Qualitative methods were employed in a narrative analysis (Reissman 1993) of ethnographic data. Based on these women’s narratives on 1) access to affordable housing, 2) access to comprehensive job training and welfare reform, and 3) the lack of comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention interventions and education designed specifically for heterosexual men; I consider if a rights-based agenda is pivotal to the reduction of rates of HIV infection for African American women, one of the most highly infected populations in the US.