Importance of Family Support for the Long-Term Survivial of HIV/AIDS-Infected African-American and Latino Prisoners and Parolees

Laura T. Fishman, University of Vermont

Within both New York State prison communities and New York City's impoverished communities, the HIV/AIDS virus has a powerful influence over convicted offenders whose daily lives are shaped by imprisonment and parole. Given this, my paper explores (1) the importance of HIV/AIDS-infected AFrican-American and Latino prisoners and parolees maintaining contact with their important women (e.g. female partners, mothers, sisters, etc.) and (2) in turn, how these contacts have a powerful effect upon these convicted offenders' capacities to endure and sustain the deadly effects of the virus. Since my paper concerns men's subjective perceptions and assessments of their relationships with their significant women, it is based on the administration of in-depth , unstructured interviews to HIV/AIDS-infected AFrican-American and Latino prisoners incarcerated in New York State Prison systems and to HIV/AIDS-infected African-American and Latino parolees residing in New York City and Albany, New Yolrk. Preliminary findings focus upon how the kinds of contacts between convicted offenders and their significant women have not only significant consdquences for the offenders to achieve the long-term status of long-term survivors but for these men handling the virus in a manner beneficial to their significant women. Lastly, findings suggest that convicted offenders and their women's patterns of interaction vary according to prisons release to outside communities, the progression of the virus and successful parole performance.

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Updated 05/20/2006