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Title: "It could be worse, I could be up a tree" : the experiences of gay men living long term with HIV
Author: Wells, Alison
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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Receiving a positive HIV test result prior to 1996 was a diagnosis of terminal illness. This frequently had dramatic psychological effects on those receiving the diagnosis. The introduction of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) in 1996 meant that HIV was no longer viewed as a terminal illness but was rather considered as a chronic manageable condition. As a result, it was felt that the ways in which people living with HIV were supported therefore changed due to a treatment option being available. This research aims to explore the impact of biological, psychological and social changes related to the introduction of ART on the lives of gay men who received a HIV positive diagnosis prior to 1996. This research employs a qualitative method. Participants are 6 gay men aged between 40 and 60 who were diagnosed with HIV before the introduction of ART. An open ended interview using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology was conducted with each participant to explore their experience of living with HIV. All participants were then invited to attend a focus group to discuss the researchers’ preliminary findings. Audio-recordings of the unstructured qualitative interviews on the individual’s experiences were transcribed verbatim and analysed using IPA methodology and utilising NVIVO 7 software. Emerging themes from the whole group will be presented and discussed. Investigating gay men’s experience of living with HIV long term is fundamental in enhancing our understanding of the psychosocial challenges faced by these men and how their experience of living with HIV may have been affected by or changed following the availability of ART. This could have potential applications in terms of the tailoring of services to reflect these needs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available