Developing a model of the individual and social processes involved in living with HIV and TB co-infection in UK migrants

Yvonne Whelan

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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In the last two decades, TB has re-emerged in the UK, linked to HIV infection and today’s migratory phenomenon. HIV/TB co-infection is of psychological interest in UK migrants as stigma is associated with both conditions and may affect psychological, social, and physical adjustment. Experiences of being a migrant may complicate adjustment to HIV/TB co-infection including immigration status, acculturation and discrimination. No research has focused on adjustment for migrants with HIV/TB co-infection in high income countries. Interviews with nine participants (six males and three females; 33- 63 years) were analysed using Grounded Theory Methodology. A theory was developed that aims to explain the individual and social processes involved in living with HIV/TB co-infection in UK migrants who were recruited via two HIV-services across London. Semi-structured interviews were transcribed and coded. Seven theoretical codes were identified 1). Migrating to the UK 2) Ideas of HIV and TB prior to receiving diagnoses 3) Accessing healthcare up to the point of receiving HIV and TB diagnoses 4) Experiences whilst accessing specialist HIV and TB care 5) Managing disclosure of HIV and TB 6) Managing mental health after receiving HIV and TB diagnoses 7) Appraisal and coping with HIV and TB. The findings suggest that delayed access to care impacted the mental health of participants. Participants also anticipated stigmatising responses to disclosure of HIV and preferred to disclose about TB - linked to its perceived curability. Participants reported good relationships with healthcare professionals and many drew on religious beliefs to help them make sense and cope with their illness challenges. The research could help increase the confidence and hope of people living with HIV and TB. In addition, it could help increase knowledge and confidence of healthcare professionals and other agencies in how best to support migrants living with HIV/TB co-infection in a high-income setting.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Evangeli, Michael, Supervisor
  • Gibson, Stuart, Supervisor, External person
Publication statusUnpublished - 2019

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