Experiences and attitudes of people with HIV/AIDS: A systematic review of qualitative studies


The aim of this article was to explore the experiences and attitudes of people with HIV/AIDS. A systematic review of qualitative studies was carried out. Twenty-seven articles were included, with sample sizes ranging from 3 to 78. Articles from North America, South America, Central America, Europe, and Africa were included. Five topics emerged from the synthesis: feelings about the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS; stigma and HIV/AIDS; changes in sexual behavior after becoming infected; living with the virus; and pregnancy and motherhood in seropositive women. The moment of diagnosis is of vital importance for these people due to feelings such as disappointment, sadness, fear, despair, lack of awareness, and pain. Social support is highly valued among these people and is linked to an improvement in these peoples’ quality of life. Different kinds of stigma accompany people with HIV/AIDS throughout their life, like social stigma, self-stigma, and health professionals’ stigma. Seropositive women who decide to become mothers can feel frustration because they cannot breastfeed. Spirituality helps some people to deal with the fact of being a virus or disease carrier


Arias-Colmenero T, Perez-Morente MA, Ramos-Morcillo AJ, Capilla-Diaz C, Ruzafa-Martinez M, Hueso-Montoro C




  • Determinants of Health
    • Social support
    • Stigma/discrimination
  • Population(s)
    • Women
    • General HIV+ population


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