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"They (ARVs) are my life, without them I'm nothing" - experiences of patients attending a HIV/AIDS clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa

Gilbert, Leah; Walker, Liz

Authors

Leah Gilbert



Abstract

This paper is a part of a larger study that explores the "social complexity" of antiretroviral therapy (ART), in resource-limited environments. Drawing on in-depth interviews with a sample of 44 patients in an urban HIV/AIDS clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa, this paper examines how people with HIV/AIDS conceptualise their illness and its treatment in this context. The paper concludes that the fear of stigma plays a significant role in patients' experiences throughout the disease trajectory. Yet, demonstrates that there are indications that ARVs are transforming the experience of living with HIV/AIDS and a process of normalisation is taking place. Despite the resource-limited context and, often, lack of family and community support, patients see the ARVs as 'life saving' and express their long-term commitment to adhere to the drug regimen as well as their trust in health professionals.

Citation

Gilbert, L., & Walker, L. (2009). "They (ARVs) are my life, without them I'm nothing" - experiences of patients attending a HIV/AIDS clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Health and Place, 15(4), (1123-1129). doi:10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.06.006. ISSN 1353-8292

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 16, 2009
Online Publication Date Jun 27, 2009
Publication Date 2009-12
Deposit Date Nov 13, 2014
Journal Health & Place
Print ISSN 1353-8292
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 4
Pages 1123-1129
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthplace.2009.06.006
Keywords HIV/AIDS; Antiretroviral therapy; South Africa; Illness experience; Resource-limited environments
Public URL https://hull-repository.worktribe.com/output/466212
Publisher URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S135382920900063X?via%3Dihub