Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Deliberate HIV exposure by 6 African-American youths was rooted in growing up poor in the inner city

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

OpenUrlCrossRefWeb of Science

Question What are the experiences of 6 African-American youths who deliberately sought exposure to HIV?




Inner city Detroit, Michigan, USA.


6 African-American youths (4 women, 2 men) ranging in age from 12–22 years who had ≥1 family member with HIV/AIDS and who had deliberately sought exposure to HIV. All respondents were HIV seropositive.


Respondents told their stories during meetings that took place over time at locations chosen by the respondents. Meetings often occurred in the respondents' homes.

Main results

The decisions of the 6 youths to deliberately expose themselves to HIV were presented in the context of “marginalization, insensitive social policies, and demanding caretaking responsibilities” inherent in growing up poor in the inner city. The following are excerpts of conversations about why the respondents deliberately sought exposure to HIV:

Belinda: (mother with AIDS and 2 HIV positive stepsisters) “ … the easiest thing to do was to just give up and get sick too … maybe now I'se sick, I'll be maybe able to get the things I needed before …

View Full Text


  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: no current address available.