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AIDS Care. 2008 Mar;20(3):292-6. doi: 10.1080/09540120701660320.

Participation among women living with HIV: a rehabilitation perspective.

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School of Rehabilitation Science, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand the lived experience of women living with HIV using a rehabilitation lens. Twenty-three women with a mean age of 40.8 years participated in personal interviews regarding barriers and facilitators to participation in society. An open coding analysis revealed the following themes associated with decreased participation: living in poverty, enduring depression and isolation, fearing disclosure and stigma, tolerating the signs and symptoms, experiencing barriers to work and lacking supportive networks. Themes related to women who were participating in their communities included meaning of children, balancing life with HIV, accessing support networks and possessing a strong self-identity. The findings highlight the complexity of the interaction between personal, environmental and health-related factors and the need for supports that incorporate the broader concept of rehabilitation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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