Due to advances in medicine, people with HIV are living longer than ever before. The Health, Hardship and Renewal Study examines the social and economic experiences of Chicago-area women living with HIV/AIDS. By exploring the acquisition and use of economic resources, this groundbreaking study specifies some of the ways in which HIV/AIDS impact women’s daily living, health management strategies, and social well-being. The study involves interviews and participant observation with about 100 women living with HIV of diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds. The HHR study also includes an examination of Chicago-area AIDS Service Providers to determine how these organizations are responding to the economic challenges of women living with HIV/AIDS.
Specifically, this study explores the financial impact (or lack thereof) of living with HIV; the interplay between women’s health, their economic survival strategies, and their health management; the ways that factors such as socioeconomic status, income source, race, and residential location shape how women cope with their HIV diagnosis; and how these women’s experiences and behaviors change over time.
Ultimately, this study highlights the socio-economic consequences of HIV/AIDS for an urban, female population and informs policymakers, healthcare providers, and others on how to address the epidemic’s next frontier.