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Title: Experiencing HIV and AIDS information : a phenomenological study of serodiscordant couples in Malawi
Author: Wella, Kondwani
ISNI:       0000 0004 5370 5303
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2015
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There being no cure for HIV, information continues to play an important role in the management of the pandemic. However, the ability to design successful HIV and AIDS information campaigns is highly dependent on knowledge of people’s information behaviour. Accordingly, there is a need for a clear understanding of the information behaviour of specific groups of people affected and infected by HIV. This phenomenological study investigates how serodiscordant couples experience HIV and AIDS information. In-depth interviews were conducted in the homes of twenty-one serodiscordant couples and three individuals who had separated from their partners. Participants for the study were selected purposively. Data analysis was done using Max Van Manen’s phenomenological approach to generate descriptions and interpretations of the couples’ experiences of HIV and AIDS information. The findings of this study identify three major aspects of experiencing HIV and AIDS information. First, the life-world is the overarching context of experiencing HIV and AIDS information. The study identified five existentials of the life-world of serodiscordant couples. The four of the five existentials were similar to those described by Max Van Manen. These are: lived body, lived space, lived others, and lived time. In addition, my study identified spirituality as a fifth existential. The second aspect of experiencing HIV and AIDS information concerns the nature of HIV and AIDS information. Serodiscordant couples experienced information sources before experiencing the information itself. In these sources serodiscordant couples categorised HIV and AIDS information as being available or unavailable, and accessible or inaccessible. Thirdly, HIV and AIDS information was experienced with various emotional and cognitive states of mind. The emotions were categorised as positive, negative, and ambiguous. Furthermore, this study proposes a conceptual framework for experiencing HIV and AIDS information. The conceptual framework suggests that HIV and AIDS information was experienced while anticipating it, interacting with it, acting on it, and reflecting on it. These findings reveal the complexity of experiencing HIV and AIDS information among serodiscordant couples. Recommendations are made for policy makers and practitioners on the importance of using knowledge of how serodiscordant couples experience HIV and AIDS information to design information services that suit their needs. In addition, this thesis highlights the need to have standard information materials for specific groups such as serodiscordant couples in order to effectively address their unique information needs.
Supervisor: Webber, Sheila ; Levy, Philippa Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available