A Model of the Friendship Experiences of Young People Living with Perinatally Acquired Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Sarah Mann

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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The increasing survival of children diagnosed with Perinatally Acquired HIV (PAH) means this unprecedented population now face adolescence and young adulthood in the context of disease related stressors; most notably HIV stigma and decisions about sharing their HIV-positive status with others. Peer relationships become increasingly important during adolescence and young adulthood, and friends have been identified as a source of support during this time by young people living with other chronic health conditions. Emerging literature indicates there may be distinct features of friendship experiences for young people living with PAH. Existing research, however, is limited in quantity, does not separate PAH from other routes of HIV transmission or offers solely quantitative data regarding the friendships of the PAH population.
The aim of this Constructivist Grounded Theory (Charmaz, 2014) study was to explore, and create a model of, the experience of friendships for young people living with PAH. Nine young people aged 16-23 living with PAH were interviewed to answer research questions about the perceived effects for friendships of; having a mother who is HIV-positive, the friend’s HIV status and decisions around HIV disclosure.
Eight theoretical codes were identified from analysis of interview data and are presented in a theoretical model of the friendship experiences of young people living with PAH: (1) Influence of paediatric disclosure experience on friendships, (2) Influence of mother’s HIV status on friendship decisions, (3) Deciding whether or not to share HIV status with friends, (4) Friendships with other people who do know HIV status, (5) Friendships with other people who do not know HIV status, (6) Friendships with other young people living with HIV, (7) Defining friendships and (8) Attitudes towards HIV. The results of this study are discussed with regard to future research and clinical work with the PAH population.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Evangeli, Michael, Supervisor
Award date1 Nov 2016
Publication statusUnpublished - 2016

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