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AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2013 Dec;27(12):697-706. doi: 10.1089/apc.2013.0254. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Tasks and strategies of self-management of living with antiretroviral therapy in Uganda.

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1 School of International Development, University of East Anglia , Norwich Research Park, Norwich, United Kingdom .


There is increasing interest in promoting and supporting self-management of HIV and antiretroviral treatment (ART), including in resource-limited settings. Although the impact of HIV and ART on people in Uganda has been explored, little attention has been paid to how people self-manage. This qualitative study collected data from 20 participants on ART in Wakiso district, Uganda, using in-depth interviews, life histories, and observations to explore the tasks and strategies of living with ART. The identified strategies were compared to two existing self-management frameworks. Results highlighted a range of tasks including obtaining, taking, and adhering to ART medication, monitoring their condition, living with stigma and managing disclosure, maintaining general health, and adjusting to new roles. Participants described a range of strategies or behaviors to manage, which they actively created and used, tailored to their needs and environment. Comparison with existing frameworks revealed many similarities, with some local differences in enactment, and greater emphasis in our sample on obtaining the medication. Interventions to support people with self-management in Uganda, and possibly other resource-limited settings, require careful adaptation to local settings. The degree to which each of these strategies may improve health and quality of life requires further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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