IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Living with HIV post-diagnosis: a qualitative study of the experiences of Nairobi slum residents

Listed author(s):
  • Wekesa, Eliud
  • Coast, Ernestina

Objectives: To characterise the experiences of heterosexual men and women living with HIV post-diagnosis and explain these experiences in relation to their identity and sexuality. Design: Qualitative study using in-depth interviews and theoretically informed biographic disruption theory. Setting: Interviews were conducted in two Nairobi slums (Kenya). Participants: 41 HIV-infected heterosexual men and women aged 18 years or older Results: People living with HIV have divergent experiences surrounding HIV diagnosis. Post-diagnosis there are multiple phases of identity transition, including status (non-)disclosure, and attempts at identity repair and normalcy. For some people this process involves a transition to a new self-identity, incorporating both HIV and antiretroviral treatment (ART) into their lives. For others it involves a partial transition, with some aspects of their pre-diagnosis identity persisting, and for others it involves a rejection of HIV identity. Those people who were able to incorporate HIV/AIDS in their identity without it being disruptive to their biography, were pursuing safer sexual and reproductive lives. By contrast, those people with a more continuous biography continued to reflect their pre-diagnosis identity and sexual behaviour. Conclusions: People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) had to rework their sense of identity following diagnosis in the context of living in a slum setting. Men and women living with HIV in slums are poorly supported by health systems and services as they attempt to cope with a diagnosis of HIV. Given the availability of antiretroviral therapy, health services and professionals need to support the rights of PLWHA to be sexually active if they want to and achieve their fertility goals, while minimizing HIV transmission risk.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Open access version.
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 49402.

in new window

Date of creation: 25 Mar 2013
Publication status: Published in BMJ Open, 25, March, 2013, 3(e00239), pp. 1-10. ISSN: 2044-6055
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:49402
Contact details of provider: Postal:
LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.

Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:49402. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.