The onset of a chronic disease influences other roles or identities. For example, an HIV or AIDS diagnosis can affect a person’s work identity (Bedell, 1997). In this article, we explored how living with HIV/AIDS shapes other identities. Thirty - six individuals living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) participated in semi - structured interviews. Participants’ work, sexuality / intimacy, spirituality, advocate, self - esteem, addict/recovering addict and parent identities changed after being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. In general, respondents’ advocate and recovering addict identities emerged and gained salience after being diagnosed with HIV or AIDS. Further research on how HIV/AIDS affects identities and their salience is warranted especially for lower income individuals with a history of chemical dependency.


HIV/AIDS, Identities, Roles, Identity Theory, Basic Qualitative Study

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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