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J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2005 Jul-Aug;16(4):3-13.

Burden: the phenomenon of mothering with HIV.

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Texas Woman's University, College of Nursing, Denton, Texas, USA.


If most mothers continually struggle to comply with perceptions of the "good mother" in the face of fatigue, self-doubt, and overwhelming emotion, what must the experience be like for HIV-infected women with dependent children to live and to mother day-to-day with an increasingly chronic, but still fatal, disease? The purpose of this phenomenological study was to gain an understanding of the mothering and end-of-life issues faced by HIV-infected women with dependent children. Sixteen HIV-infected women reflecting diversity of ethnicity, age, number and ages of children, and health status were interviewed in depth. A phenomenon of mothering with HIV revealed a constitutive pattern of burden. Themes revealed were the burden of the diagnosis and health status, the burden of whether or not to reveal to children, the burden of an unknown future for themselves and their children, and relieving the burden of the diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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