Faculty Articles

Title

HIV normalization message and its implication on the lives of perinatally HIV‐infected youth in Puerto Rico

ISBN or ISSN

1759-8893

Publication Title

Journal of Pharmaceutical Health Services Research

Volume

8

Issue

4

Publication Date / Copyright Date

8-31-2017

First Page

241

Last Page

246

Publisher

Wiley

DOI Number

10.1111/jphs.12194

Abstract

Objective

To examine the impact of the HIV normalization discourse on the life of a group of perinatally HIV‐infected (pHIV‐I) youth in Puerto Rico.

Methods

A qualitative research study was conducted to explore the life experiences of pHIV‐I youth in Puerto Rico. Twenty in‐depth interviews were carried out among 12 women and eight men aged 18–30 years. Questions focused primarily on their life experiences and the meaning they ascribe to HIV. Interviews were analysed, and interrelationships, connections and patterns were assessed.

Key findings

Normalization messages were present in most of the participants’ narratives. The majority considered their HIV diagnosis like ‘any other health condition’ and most of them had a positive attitude towards life. When study participants positioned themselves from a social perspective, contradictions of normalization messages emerged. Some participants reported that because HIV is highly stigmatized, their rejections, discrimination and stigma experiences are different from those of patients with other chronic conditions. Those with HIV also face unique and difficult situations such as losing family members, dealing with a potentially fatal illness, and maintaining secrecy about their health conditions.

Conclusion

While the normalization discourse is very common in the medical field, it does not necessarily translate into the personal and social spheres of HIV‐positive youth. Interventions to assist patients in dealing with the social implications of the HIV condition are still needed.

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Keywords

HIV, normalization, perinatally‐infected, Puerto Rico, qualitative

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