School of Nursing
L. Kathleen Sekula
betrayal, cognitive and behavioral strategies, grounded theory, shame, social network, stigma
Even though the number of women with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) grows annually, medical treatment has rendered this illness a chronic but manageable disease. Nurses must expand their knowledge beyond issues of survival and end of life care and focus on ways to maintain health and well being in this population. The works of Miller (1986) and Gilligan (1993) underscore the significance of relationships in the emotional well being of women. Issues of stigma, sexual transmission and ill health render HIV infection a threat to social relationships. Published literature exists that explores aspects of relationship such as social support, motherhood and condom use but the management of relationships has not been studied. The purpose of this grounded theory study was to discover how women with HIV infection manage relationships. Individual interviews were conducted with 14 women. Positioning for acceptance emerged as the basic psychological social process (BSP) that explained how women managed their relationships subsequent to the betrayal shame and isolation that came from being infected by a trusting partner who had withheld his diagnosis. The BSP was comprised of four strategies; manipulating the social context, finding purpose, securing support, and accommodating HIV infection. These strategies, which were both cognitive and behavioral, each contained two to three sub strategies and existed within contextual factors of health care, sexual intimacy, and a larger social network. The study has implications for practice, education and research.
Kozy, M. (2007). Positioning for Acceptance: How Women with HIV Infection Manage Their Relationships (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/775