HIV prevention among people with developmental disabilities.

This investigation sought to determine the effect of HIV/AIDS on people with developmental disabilities. Inquiries about contributing factors and HIV prevention needs also were made. In this qualitative descriptive study, two focus groups were conducted with individuals from the target population, as well as service providers. Each focus group was held in a conference room of a community-based organization located in Philadelphia on a weekday evening. Sixteen adults participated in the focus groups. Seven were members of the target population, and 9 were services providers. Focused topics were developed to guide the group discussion. Participants identified several contributing factors and barriers associated with risk behavior and HIV risk in this population. Recommendations for HIV prevention needs and strategies also were generated. The results of this formative inquiry indicated there is a need for development of specific HIV intervention strategies for this vulnerable and often overlooked population. Clinical and research implications are proposed.