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West J Nurs Res. 2006 Feb;28(1):42-60; discussion 61-9.

Self-care and mothering in African American women with HIV/AIDS.

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  • 1University of Cincinnati, College of Nursing, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


African American women are the most rapidly growing group of people in the United States diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this study was to explore experiences of self-care and mothering among African American women with HIV/AIDS. It is important to recognize how culture affects illness management, childrearing, and daily living to design culturally appropriate nursing interventions for African American women. Critical ethnography was used to study 10 African American mothers from the rural Southeast who were HIV positive and mothered children who were HIV positive. Domains derived from the research were disabling relationships, strong mothering, and redefining self-care. The cultural theme was creating a life of meaning. African American mothers with HIV/AIDS in the rural Southeast used culturally specific self-care and mothering strategies reflective of cultural traditions. This study acknowledges strengths of African American women and generates theory that will enhance nursing care to this population.

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