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Qual Health Res. 2007 Feb;17(2):162-75.

Identity and resilience among persons with HIV: a rural African American experience.

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Border Health Foundation, Tucson, and Department of Anthropology, Arizona State University, Tempe, USA.


In this article, the author contrasts the disruption model proposed by Becker (1997) against the life trajectories of two persons who used and sold drugs; considers the impact of engagement and discontinuation of substance use on their respective lives; and examines the process of life reorganization they put into motion after testing positive for HIV. Their departure from the world of drugs removed each from an unwanted lifestyle, facilitated the process of building resilience against the social adversity they faced in relation to their seropositivity, assisted them with securing care and services through institutional mechanisms, and generated a forum for new ideas on family continuity versus the ideal of individualism that grounds mainstream society. A process of identity reaffirmation further deepened their understanding of themselves as African Americans in the southern United States.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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