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August 2015

Health Soc Work. 2003 Feb; 28(1): 53-62.

Notions of HIV and medication among multiethnic people living with HIV.

Oggins J.

University of California, San Francisco, Box 426856, San Francisco, CA 94142, USA.

To help understand why people of ethnic minority groups tend to be less likely than European Americans to take medication for HIV, narratives from 62 multiethnic HIV-positive individuals were coded for mention of taking medication for HIV and reasons for not doing so. Respondents viewed HIV/AIDS and medication in terms of other illnesses and drugs, including colds, cancer, and street drugs. Some recovering drug users expressed concern about ingesting synthetic medication or considered medical regimens as constraining as a drug addiction. Some in the sample also thought antiretroviral medications were toxic, especially when taken in combination. Others thought they should wait to take medication to prevent opportunistic infection until they felt ill. Implications for providers are discussed.

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