Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Anne M. Teitelman


As women living with HIV (WLWH) have aged in the United States, more and more are experiencing common comorbidities associated with aging. Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are among the most common chronic diseases that WLWH experience. HIV-positive women are uniquely vulnerable to CVD as they age due to a mix of intersecting circumstances, including general- and HIV-associated factors. Since an individual’s perception of their neighborhood environment is a key contributor to cardiovascular health, it is important to examine the relationship between neighborhoods and cardiovascular health among WLWH. The purpose of this dissertation study was to examine associations between perception of neighborhood environment, stress, and cardiovascular disease risk among HIV-positive women. In order to describe the existing evidence regarding perception of neighborhood environment, chronic stress, and CVD risk among WLWH, I developed a conceptual framework of the interaction between neighborhood environment, and various HIV-associated and general factors linked to stress and CVD risk. Further, this study was completed as a secondary analysis of a data set from the Chicago site of the Women's Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) in 2012. A total of 147 HIV-positive women were included in this study. I examined associations between neighborhood perception, chronic stress, and risk for cardiovascular disease with multivariable linear regression analyses. Results from this study did not demonstrate significant associations between neighborhood perception, chronic stress, and CVD risk among WLWH. This study can be used to develop clinical, behavioral, and policy interventions to promote cardiovascular health among women with HIV.

Included in

Nursing Commons