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Title: Disclosure of HIV status - a qualitative analysis of the experiences of immigrant women living with HIV in the UK
Author: Jovanovic, Mirjana
ISNI:       0000 0004 2699 3944
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2008
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The present study employed qualitative methodology in order to explore the experiences of HIV disclosure among immigrant women living with HIV in the UK. It aimed to explore individual, relational and contextual factors influencing disclosure process. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with six immigrant women living with HIV in the UK and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to analyse the data. The study identified four main themes reflecting women's experiences of HIV disclosure: (1) stigma, discrimination and disclosure; (2) dealing with the negative outcomes of disclosure; (3) disclosure as a relational process and (4) positive outcomes of disclosure. Overall, the findings highlight the complexity of the disclosure process and the multiple factors impacting on HIV disclosure. One of the most striking findings is the impact of stigma and discrimination on HIV disclosure and the extent to which women in the present study experience 'double stigma' - as people living with HIV within African communities and as immigrants within the UK. Another aspect reflected in women's accounts is the relationship between disclosure and adjustment to HIV diagnosis. Thus, disclosure is viewed as both depending on and contributing to adjustment to HIV diagnosis. Furthermore, women's disclosure decision making process is embedded in the interpersonal relationships and highlights multiple relational factors influencing women's decisions, including reactions of others, fear of rejection, the nature of relationship and timing of disclosure. Finally, women's disclosure is characterised by their sense of responsibility towards protecting others. The study outcomes are discussed in relation to the existing literature and the findings unique to this study are highlighted. The implications of the findings are discussed in relation to clinical practice and support for immigrant women living with HIV in the UK. Furthermore, suggestions for the future research are outlined.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available