Date of Conferral





Human Services


Dr. Garth den Heyer


AbstractOver the years, the infection rates for HIV in the United States has changed partly due to lack of engagement and medication adherence which can lead to substantial declines in individual health. Factors that contribute to the individual’s adherence can include transportation cost, childcare, and lack of finances to name a few. These barriers can often be decreased with the help of supportive service providers and improvement in the patient-provider relationship. Currently, there is limited research that explores how to reduce patient barriers to care, specifically in rural areas. This qualitative study examines how Illinois health care providers help HIV-positive women overcome barriers to adherence by using the Andersen’s behavioral model. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the barriers and challenges healthcare practitioners consider when providing care to HIV-positive women. I performed a qualitative data collection via emailed surveys from practitioners using a snowball method. The participants had to work with women, or female identified, patients who resided within Cook County or the collar counties of Illinois and be linked to care. The data was analyzed by using NVivo revealed that barriers identified in 2013 had a significant reduction in some geographical areas. The results also revealed that for women heterosexual transmission account for the largest route of transmission however transgender and MSM still have the most unmet needs and lower adherence and retention rates. The findings from this research might contribute to the efforts of current and future researchers, to inform and develop awareness to the many people living with HIV/AIDS.