Research Advocacy: Afro-Caribbean Immigrant Women Living with HIV

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2019


Over one million individuals live with HIV/AIDS in the United States; African American populations have been the most adversely impacted by the epidemic (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2017). Not readily captured are the unique experiences and cultural distinctions for subpopulations of Afro-Caribbean immigrants in the United States. While research has been previously undertaken to explore various aspects of life for Caribbean immigrants in the United States, (Chatters, Taylor, Bullard & Jackson, 2008; Chatters, Taylor, Jackson & Lincoln, 2008; Taylor, Chatters, Woodward & Brown, 2013; Aranda, Chae, Lincoln, Taylor, Woodward & Chatters, 2012 Woodward, Taylor, Abelson & Matusko, 2013; Foner, 2001; Matthews, 2013), social workers and other mental health and health professionals need to understand more about the impact of culture, immigration status, gender, access to resources, stigma and shame experiences of this population in order to advocate for their unique needs (Wheeler & Mahoney, 2008). While a growing body of literature has focused on HIV risk and Caribbean immigrants living with HIV (Hoffman, Ransome, Adams-Skinner, Leu & Terzian, 2012; Jones, 2005; Nije-Carr, Sharps, Campbell, Callwood, 2012; Thomas, Clarke & Kroliczak, 2008), research that details the lived experiences of under-researched populations such as Afro-Caribbean immigrant populations living with HIV in the United States may provide an increased understanding of the unique impact of factors such as culture, immigration status, gender, and access to resources. This article describes research with Afro-Caribbean immigrant women on the East Coast living with HIV in an effort to capture their unique life experiences. The National Association of Social Workers (2017) urges social workers to uphold the core values of social work and to provide culturally competent practice. The research addresses culturally competent practice with this population.

Journal Title

Social Work and Christianity





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First Department

Social Work