Study Abroad Year
Study Abroad Term
SIT Study Abroad: Durban Community Health and Social Policy
What prompts an individual who has had a positive HIV diagnosis to undergo the transition from a limiting life narrative to an empowering life narrative?
With HIV positive individuals living longer lives, it is important that individuals are able to integrate the HIV/AIDS identity into their sense of self and life narrative. Diagnosis of HIV creates a shocking rupture within an individual’s life narrative. Integrating the HIV/AIDS identity requires a shift away from a life narrative that initially limits HIV positive individuals from having a positive outlook on the self and life. This qualitative study incorporates a narrative interview approach to understand what events and experiences prompt an HIV positive individual to transition from a limiting life narrative to an empowering life narrative. Narrative interviews were conducted with 3 HIV positive individuals who have utilized HIV resources available at the Blue Roof Life Space located in the Wentworth township of Durban, South Africa. The results from these interviews showed that while there is a similar progression of phases that HIV positive individuals, as a collective community, go through while incorporating HIV into their life narrative, the events that take place within this timeline are greatly varied based on each individual’s societal context. These results will continue to refine our understanding on the relation between chronic illness and the composition of life narratives at an individual level.
Karuparthy, Lakshmi, "The Aha Moment(s)! - What Prompts HIV Positive Individuals to Transition from One Life Narrative to Another" (2016). Research Abroad Projects. 2.