For HIV-positive African Americans, the mistrust of medical providers due to anticipation of unequal treatment care, prejudice, and bias can become a major deterrent to medication and treatment adherence. Although programs and services incorporate strategies to improve patient–provider relationships, a deeper understanding of their healthcare experiences, especially among those with a dual diagnosis of HIV/AIDS and a nutrition-related chronic disease, is lacking. This qualitative study aimed to address this gap by conducting focus groups with participants who identified themselves as being African American, and having a dual diagnosis of HIV/AIDS, and a chronic disease. Content analysis generated several major themes, highlighting the impact of a negative healthcare experience on their ability to self-manage their health. Factors such as lack of consistency in care team, negative interactions with doctors, feelings of stigma due to prejudice and bias from healthcare staff, loss of privacy, and the need for comprehensive services that targeted their physical, emotional, and nutritional health emerged as recurring sub-themes. These findings provide the foundation for the design of a comprehensive intervention model that helps participants to communicate their medical needs more effectively, thus optimizing their overall health outcomes and quality of life.
- African American