Browsing Masters Degrees (Sociology and Social Anthropology) by browse.metadata.advisor "Ellis, Jeanne"
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- ItemExperiences and coping strategies of women living with HIV/AIDS diagnosis : a case study of Maseru, Lesotho(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2004-04) Diaho, Mahlao Judith; Kritzinger, A. S.; Ellis, Jeanne; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Several studies have reported that thirty million people are living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Fifty percent of the infected adults are women aged between 15 and 49 years. In Lesotho, HIV/AIDS has also been declared a national emergency and an estimated 180,000 women out of 330,000 adults, and 27,000 children are living with HIV/AIDS. Statistics have shown that the majority of AIDS cases occur in adults aged 15 and 49 years in Lesotho. Presently women are the fastest growing infected population in Lesotho. Regardless of the growing numbers of women infected with HIV/AIDS, experiences of women living with HIV/AIDS have received little attention in Lesotho. Qualitative research in this area is necessary to gain access to women's perceptions of their HIV positive status. In this study, the experiences and coping strategies of Basotho women living with HIV/AIDS were investigated. The study used a feminist approach to research. Feminist research stresses the multiplicity of knowledge and it is useful to understand the subjective experiences of women. Indepth, face-to-face interviews were conducted with five women ranging between 29 and 46 years, purposefully drawn from Positive Action Society Lesotho (PASL). Grounded theory was used to analyse the data. Findings indicate that women's risk for exposure to HIV is related to their ability to protect themselves by negotiating a safe sexual relationship. Women who feel powerless in their relationships are less likely to protect themselves against HIVexposure. These perceptions of powerlessness are the result of a broad array of experiences that may include exposure to gender-based violence and restricted economic opportunities. The results show that it is common for women to be shocked, depressed, and discouraged when they find that they are living with HIV/AIDS as can be expected. It is also difficult for women to disclose their HIV positive status to family, friends and community members because of stigma attached to HIV/AIDS. Participants developed different ways of coping with their status such as religion, healthy life style, AIDS counselling and social networks. There was a profound sense of anxiety about the future care of children. The study concludes with a number of recommendations to promote an environment that will make it possible for women living with HIV/AIDS to cope with their illness.