Food insecurity and maternal mental health among African American single mothers living with HIV/AIDS in the Alabama Black belt

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of health care for the poor and underserved

Publication Date


Date Added



Background. Little is known about the relationship between food insecurity and depression among African American low-income single mothers living with HIV/AIDS in rural Alabama. Food insecurity is a neglected variable in bioethics, biomedical, behavioral, and health disparities research. Methods. Regression analyses of data from a survey of African American single mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Alabama's Black Belt were used to evaluate the association between food insecurity and depression. Results. As determined by the USDA food insecurity scale, about 53% of the sample was classified as food insecure. In the bivariate regression model, food insecurity was associated with depression. After controlling for sociodemographic variables, food insecurity remained positively associated with depression in this sample. Conclusions. Food insecurity places low-income African American women at risk of depression. Given widespread poverty among HIV-positive individuals in the Black Belt, access to food should be considered in HIV-related prescriptions and in health disparities research.


Public Health


Johns Hopkins University Press