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The subjective experiences of people living with HIV and how these impact on their quality of life.

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This study explores the subjective experiences of persons who have been informed of a positive HIV antibody test and, from their point of view, explains the meaning and impact that HIV discovery has on their quality of life. In this qualitative narrative study, a racially specific, low-income sample of 10 HIV-infected men and women shared their stories of living with the virus during in-depth interviews. Findings of a multi-staged narrative analysis suggest that for people like those in this study, stigma associated with mv infection results in the concealment of the diagnosis by the individual for fear of being labeled as deviant from the rest ofthe community. Secondly, the tragic manner in which these respondents narrated HIV discovery signifies the negative impact the disease has on their quality of life. Lastly, there is evidence for the effectiveness ofthe primary health-care services on the HIV positive patients. Implications for these findings are elaborated.


Thesis (M.Soc.Sc.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2000.


HIV infections--Social Aspects--South Africa., HIV infections--Psychological aspects., AIDS (Disease)--Social aspects--South Africa., AIDS (Disease)--Psychological aspects., AIDS (Disease)--Patients., HIV-positive persons., Theses--Psychology.