Date of Award

7-1-2009

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Social Work Policy Planning and Administration

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Rodney

Third Advisor

Dr. Silivius Wilson

Abstract

This mixed method study explored the social and economic risk factors for 70 persons living and working with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) (PLWHAs) in The Bahamas. The study examined the impact of stigma, unemployment, and family interactions on the lives of PLWHAs. A 66-item questionnaire and five structured interviews capture PLWHAs perceptions of their experiences as persons living with HIV/AIDS in The Bahamas. The study utilized thematic, content analysis and descriptive statistics to analysis the data. The study results are as followed: perceived stigma negatively affects disclosure in the work place; PLWHAs experienced economic changes due to unemployment; the effectiveness of PANCAP workplace policies were undetermined base on the study results; families of PLWHAs are struggling to remain intact; and HIV/AIDS education was not successful in changing their sexual behaviors. The implications for policies, social work practice, curriculum, and HIV education was defined based on the study on the study results. Subsequently, recommendations were made for a culturally appropriate approach to the training of practitioners and HIV preventative messages. Finally, it promotes the development of holistic programs that are effective and empowering to women. The programs must be grounded in a broad social context that embraces both genders.

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