The lived experiences of Winnipeg women with HIV/AIDS

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Nicolas, Suzanne J. M.
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The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore and describe Winnipeg women's experiences living with the human immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV) and the acquired immuodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). An interpretive research approach provided the basis for the research design. The Mandala Model of Health was used as the framework for the study. In-depth interviews were conducted with five Winnipeg women living with HIV/AIDS. Data collection consisted of unstructured face to face interviews. An interpretive or hermeneutic method provided the basis for the data analysis. Six major themes emerged following analysis which included: health related issues, marital/partner relationships, child and family issues, occupation, social network, and coping with the illness. These issues and concerns are not necessarily specific to women, however, women's experiences with HIV and AIDS are inseparably linked to their experiences as women. Implications for nursing practice, education, and research were discussed. The study revealed the need to provide more knowledge based care and support to women living with HIV/AIDS. Continuing education, increased curriculum content related to this topic, and keeping current with the latest development in the management and treatments is needed. Further research is necessary in all domains of women's health as it relates to HIV/AIDS.