Date of Conferral







Benita Stiles-Smith


HIV/AIDS rates among Asian and Pacific Islanders (APIs) have increased steadily in recent years. The Health Resources and Services Administration reported in 2011 that people living with HIV/AIDS experience psychiatric disorders at a rate 4 to 8 times higher than the general population, with as many as 60% experiencing depression. Studies show that short-term psychotherapy reduces depression and anxiety in people with HIV/AIDS, and studies have indicated that patients have better health outcomes when they receive psychotherapy in conjunction with medical treatment. It is not known how social support relates to psychotherapy attendance or health outcomes as measured by CD4 and viral load among people who are APIs and have HIV/AIDS. APIs comprise a group that does not readily engage with mental health services, thus warranting focused research attention. The purpose of this quantitative, causal, comparative study was (a) to examine the psychotherapy attendance rates of APIs and non-APIs who have HIV/AIDS, and (b) to identify the impact of social support on attendance rates and health outcomes such as CD4 and viral load. The data collected from anonymous medical files at a community health center, 993 number of records reviewed, analyzing the data using descriptive and inferential statistics in order to identify factors that increase psychotherapy attendance rates of people who are APIs and have HIV/AIDS. The study findings demonstrated that non-APIs have higher psychotherapy attendance rates over time compared to APIs, regardless of social support from case workers for attending. Positive social change for this group indicates further examination of the meaning and outcomes for API under these circumstances, with recommendation for use of qualitative data gathering the perspectives of API themselves.