Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


HIV-positive women-Psychology, HIV positive women-Services for, HIV positive women-Counseling of, Asian American women-Psychology, Pacific Islander American women-Psychology, Stigma (Social psychology), Group identity, Depression in women-Treatment, Self-disclosure-Psychological aspects, Asian and Pacific Islander women, HIV/AIDS, Stigma theory, Intersectionality, Depression, Disclosure


In the United States the prevalence and incidence rates of Asian and Pacific Islander (AandPI) women with HIV/AIDS is increasing. As many as 1 in 3 may not know they are HIV positive. Existing literature using stigma theory revealed that AandPI HIV positive women can experience both positive and negative mental health effects from HIV serostatus disclosure. These findings are an important mental health issue as HIV serostatus disclosure has traditionally been encouraged for the benefit of those diagnosed and their kinship networks. The present study seeks to examine the correlation found in previous research between disclosure or nondisclosure of HIV serostatus and depression in AandPI women. Due to the paucity of information available, more research is clearly needed. Understanding this impact in Asian and Pacific Islander women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS can assist clinical social workers to provide culturally relevant care, guiding them through appropriate HIV status disclosure while reducing or minimizing their risk for negative consequences including depression. The present paper demonstrates how an intersectional framework to both empirical research and clinical practice builds upon existing information regarding HIV stigma, and offers social workers a culturally responsive approach to the care of AandPI HIV positive women.




iii, 94 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2013. Includes bibliographical references (p. 83-94)