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Exploring the experiences of men living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome at Okhahlamba Local Municipality.

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2023

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Abstract

Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has been a part of the world since 1981 when first its discovery was made. It can be argued that the virus has become a normal part of human life; however, is this argument valid in this day and age? This research study explored the experiences of men living with HIV/AIDS, paying particular attention to reasons that led to their HIV testing, disclosure of HIV status, the possible stigmatisation and marginalisation or positive response encountered; the social, emotional, or economic challenges met, and the coping mechanisms adopted post HIVpositive diagnosis. This study aimed to explore the experiences of men in Okhahlamba Local Municipality living with HIV/AIDS. Social constructionism and the ecosystems theory were adopted as theoretical frameworks to help understand and to reach the intended aim of the study. A nonprobability sample of fifteen men living with HIV/AIDS was selected by using purposive sampling for data collection. This study was a qualitative study − it employed the interpretive paradigm and an exploratory design. The data was collected using semi-structured interviews. The most apposite themes were identified and analysed using thematic analysis. The study revealed that the reaction of males to their seropositive status is similar to that of females; furthermore, the study noted that rejection and fear of stigmatisation results in delayed disclosure of HIV-positive status. Additionally, the study supported studies that alluded to a relationship between trust and disclosure. Conclusions and recommendations were drawn based on data collected from the study which show that there is still a need for increased HIV/AIDS education, consistent development of the skills of counsellors, and implementation of a multisectoral response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

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Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.

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