HIV infection in families of HIV-positive and 'at-risk' HIV-negative women

T. Fiore, T. Flanigan, J. Hogan, R. Cram, P. Schuman, E. Schoenbaum, L. Solomon, J. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Research of HIV infection within the family has focused upon sexual partners and vertical transmission. The scope of the problem of multiple infections and clustering of HIV among family members has, thus far, been less extensively explored. The objectives of this study are to investigate HIV infection in family members of HIV-seropositive and HIVseronegative high-risk women and to consider the impact of multiple HIV infections within the family. Baseline data were evaluated from a prospective observational cohort of 871 HIV-seropositive and 439 seronegative at-risk women who are participants in a longitudinal study of HIV in women at four sites in the USA (Montefiore, Bronx, NY; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Brown University, Providence, RI; Wayne State University, Detroit, MI). Women were asked if anyone close to them had HIV/AIDS or had died from HIV/AIDS. Responses which included HIV-positive family members were analyzed. In the seropositive cohort, 35% (307/871) of the women had a family member with HIV infection. Of these 307 women, 38% reported having a sibling, 24% a husband and 27% had more than one family member with HIV/AIDS. Forty-nine per cent of Latina women, 34% of black women, and 21% of white women reported having a family member with HIV/AIDS. Using logistic regression analysis, we found that Latina and black women were significantly more likely than white women to have a sibling, extended family member or more than one family member with HIV/AIDS. Compared to seropositive women, seronegative high-risk women enrolled in this study appear equally likely to have an HIV-infected family member. In this study of HIV-positive women and high-risk seronegative women, a third reported having multiple family members with HIV infection, most often in a sibling. The high prevalence of HIV within families, particularly in the families of Latina and black women, mandates attention in planning both prevention and care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)209-214
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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