GHES U.S. Fellow 2015-2016
Fellowship Site: Public Health Research Institute of India
U.S. Institution: Florida International University
Project Title: Understanding Social Networks as it Relates to HIV Positive and non-HIV Women in Mysore District, Karnataka, India
During the GHES fellowship, the objective of the research study was to evaluate perceptions about the social support available when addressing physical and mental health concerns. Specifically, the study addressed changes in support networks for women with HIV.
Given the high incidence of HIV in Southern India, the increased stigma among women with HIV, and unique uses of support at varying stages of the lifespan, the population of interest was defined as southern Indian young adult (ages 18-40) women.
The proposed study sought to identify:
a) Women’s perceptions of what support is available to them.
b) Utilization of formal and informal social networks as a tool for coping with health concerns.
c) Factors influencing their usages or rejection of social networks identified.
This study recruited a total of 300 young adult female to complete a survey through two sites; the Public Health Research Institute (PHRI) and the Ananda Jyothi Positive Network. Approximately 60 (30 HIV+ and 30 non-HIV) of those women were invited to participate in a Focus Group Discussion (FGD).