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Pediatr Nurs. 2012 Nov-Dec;38(6):311-8.

A lion in the room: youth living with HIV.

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  • 1Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA, USA.


This qualitative study conducted in rural and urban Georgia was designed to understand the experience of youth living with HIV who received health care from community-based and AIDS service organizations. The interview guide was developed by the authors within a health improvement context, and data analysis focused on thematic content. Twenty-nine youth, 13 to 24 years of age, volunteered to be interviewed, either in focus groups or independently. The major thematic findings were taking pills, how they look at you, being healthy, keeping it private, a lion next to you, they can help me, and life goes on. Physical and psychosocial benefits were achieved from trusting relationships with professional and personal caregivers, personal control, and self-esteem. This study identified a need for more intense, reliable, and continuous attention to social and family support.

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