Five isiZulu women living with AIDS : illness, anti-retrovirals, selves and live stories.
The South African HIV/AIDS epidemic has reached startling proportions in the last decade. Although the disease itself makes no distinction between age, race or gender, for a variety of historical, cultural, biological and socio-economic reasons, it currently affects more women, particularly black women, than men. Therefore this study examines the narratives of HIV positive, black, resource-poor, mothers who have gained access to free antiretroviral treatment. The aim of this study is to explore the effect of this treatment on their lives and how they cope with having HIV/AIDS. Their narratives were collected during interviews and then a modified version of Mauthner & Doucet's (1998) voice-relational method was used to analyse the data. The five transcripts were firstly discussed as separate stories, focusing on their background and the voice of I. Subsequently, six central shared themes were examined, these were: poverty, relationship with partner, stigma and discrimination, support, acceptance/religion, hope and strength.