Psychological distress among minority and low-income women living with HIV

Sheryl L Catz, Cheryl Gore-Felton, Jennifer B. McClure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


The growing incidence of HIV infection among low-income and minority women makes it important to investigate how these women adjust to living with HIV and AIDS. Psychological distress associated with HIV infection may compound the adjustment difficulties and increase the barriers to care associated with living in poverty. The authors surveyed 100 women who were receiving HIV care at a public hospital in the southeastern United States on measures of depression, anxiety, life stress, social support, and coping; they also assessed demographic and medical characteristics of the sample. Participants' annual incomes were low (87% < $10,000), and most participants were minorities (84% African American). Their levels of depression, stress, and anxiety symptoms were elevated relative to community norms. Greater anxiety and depression symptoms were associated with women who reported higher stress, using fewer active coping strategies, and perceiving less social support (ps < .001).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalBehavioral Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • HIV
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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