Illness appraisals provide important context to help understand the way individuals cope with chronic illness. In the present study, a qualitative approach to the analysis of HIV diagnosis experience narratives in a sample of 100 people newly diagnosed with HIV revealed five groups that differed in their initial illness appraisals: HIV as Chronic Illness, Concern about Dying, Stigmatization, Threat to Identity, and Other Threats Overshadow HIV. When compared on quantitatively measured depressive mood, the groups differed on level and trajectory over the course of the first year post-diagnosis. Although the experience of living with HIV has changed significantly with the advent of effective Antiretroviral Therapies (ART), there were a number of similarities between the appraisals of this group of participants who were diagnosed post ART and groups who were diagnosed before ART became widely available. Posttest counselors and other HIV service providers should take individual differences in illness appraisals into account in order to help newly HIV-positive clients manage their healthcare and cope adaptively with their diagnosis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)