An exploration of the psychological needs and concerns of HIV positive women living in Pietermaritzburg.
Mhlongo, Sibusiso Dumisani.
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The study aims to explore women's psychosocial needs and concerns following an HIV positive diagnosis. It also seeks to understand nature and various sources of care and support that women need for learning how to live with an HIV positive diagnosis. Finally, to understand what women need from HIV/AIDS health care and social service providers. In order to achieve these aims, a sample of 12 HIV positive women age between 20 and 40 was approached and interviewed at the Centres for Disease Control Clinic (CDC) in one of the local hospital in Pietermaritzburg. A qualitative research approach using semi- structured in-depth interviews was used in the study. The findings of the study reveal that HIV positive women are still faced with a range of psychosocial needs, different to that of HIV infected men. Their main psychosocial concerns centre on the welfare of their children rather their own health. Women fear rejection from their sexual relationships and as a way of coping with this, they choose to abstain from intimate relationships. Many women receive limited support from their families, health, and social welfare systems.