A Needs Assessment of People Living with HIV in Montana

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Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers

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https://scholarworks.umt.edu/etd/276; https://scholarworks.umt.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1295&context=etd
Epperson, Emily Olive
University of Montana
barriers to accessing HIV services; HIV needs assessment; HIV prevention needs
thesis / dissertation description
The purpose of this study was to assess the HIV testing, prevention, and treatment needs of people living in Montana who are infected with HIV. This study identified the demographic characteristics, the unmet needs, and the barriers to accessing assistance, prevention, and treatment services for people living with HIV in Montana. Qualitative data was collected in the form of focus group and key informant interviews and quantitative data was collected in the form of a questionnaire. The results of this assessment identified successful services that contribute to the improved mental, emotional, and physical health of people living with HIV including case managers, health care providers, and HIV-positive retreats. This assessment also identified three important objectives to best meet unmet service needs and address barriers to accessing available services. These objectives included working toward increasing the general public’s awareness of HIV through educational strategies, to improve access to health care providers who are holistic, caring and current in their knowledge about treating HIV, and to maintain or increase the available or existing case management services and HIV-positive retreats. To best address these objectives there must be continued diligence toward overall empowerment of people living with HIV in Montana as well as efforts to decrease cultural stigma, discrimination, and fear surrounding HIV. The findings of this study will be used by the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services and the Montana HIV Prevention Community Planning Group to further shape the assistance, prevention, and treatment services available to people living with HIV.