Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome--AIDS, Hispanic Americans, nursing, women


By the year 2000, Latinos will become the largest minority group in the United States. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is occurring at a disproportionately high rate among Latinos. As care-giver and health decision-maker in the family, the Latina needs to know about AIDS and AIDS prevention. This research identified and offers an explanation of how the Latina comes to know about AIDS and AIDS prevention within the context of the family and the Latino culture. Grounded theory methodology was used to explore the complex socialization patterns within the Latino community that affect how the Latina perceives HIV/AIDS. Data were collected by means of sixteen individual interviews and a focus group discussion with five Latinas. Results indicated that knowing about AIDS for the Latina is more than defining a disease. It involves an interweaving of socialization patterns, relationships with men, and interpretations of television reports and gossip. Knowing about AIDS for the Latinas interviewed resulted in either preventing, pretending they were not susceptible, relying on their mate for protection, or in teaching family members. The findings of this study have implications for nursing research, nursing education, and nursing practice. The major implication is the need for AIDS prevention education for Latinas that is both gender and culturally sensitive.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons