Title
Women's experience of HIV as a chronic illness in South Africa : hard-earned lives, biographical disruption and moral career Women's experience of HIV as a chronic illness in South Africa : hard-earned lives, biographical disruption and moral career
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Social Sciences. Sociology
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Sociology
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Sociology of health and illness. - London
Volume/pages
38(2016) :4 , p. 521-542
ISSN
0141-9889
ISI
000379878100001
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
This article presents findings from a longitudinal qualitative study (48 in-depth interviews with 12 women on antiretroviral treatment (ART)) exploring the experience of living with HIV as a chronic illness in South Africa by applying the structural and interactionist perspectives on chronic illness. The structural perspective indicates that the illness experience needs to be contextualised within the wider framework of the women's hard-earned lives: throughout the interviews, the women tended to refuse singularising HIV/AIDS and continuously framed the illness within the context of general hardship and adversity. Employing an interactionist perspective, the repeated interviews demonstrated the partial applicability of the concept of biographical disruption to the illness experience: most women experienced feelings of denial and disbelief upon diagnosis, but the availability of ART clearly mitigated the impact of HIV on their biographies. In addition, our findings demonstrate that the interaction between structural aspects, (stigmatising) social relations, and the illness (and its treatment) determines the never-ending cycle of identity appraisals, revisions and improvements, rendering the moral career of the HIV-positive women on ART a continuous work in progress.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/0b04f9/133082.pdf
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