Elizabeth J. King, assistant professor of health behavior & health education, co-authored an article in the journal Global Public Health. King is the associate director of the Weiser Center for Europe and Eurasia, as well as CREES, CES, and CPPS. Read the full article on the journal website, or view the abstract below.
"There is a dearth of information about the factors influencing postpartum engagement in HIV treatment and care in Russia, a country with an expanding HIV epidemic and poor treatment coverage. The goal of our community-based study was to identify and explore the factors influencing engagement in care after pregnancy. We conducted in-depth interviews with 50 women living with HIV who had recently given birth, and with 20 health care and social service providers in two locations: a large metropolitan city (St. Petersburg) and a semi-urban town near the Ural Mountains. Thematic analysis led us to identify the following themes in regard to factors influencing postpartum engagement in care: feeling overwhelmed with caring for an infant; sense of responsibility for child’s health and well-being; misinformation and AIDS denialism; HIV-related stigma and fear; benefits versus side-effects of ART; professional and personal support; drug and alcohol use; and structural factors. Structural factors include poverty, continued provision of ART after pregnancy, dosage, obtaining necessary documents, and distance to clinic. These findings are important to consider in developing much-needed interventions to promote women’s longer-term engagement in HIV care and treatment in Russia."