The Experiences of People Living with HIV/AIDS, On Antiretroviral Medications

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJAR.2014.03.01.Art038

Authors : Joseph Njiru Kithaka


This study has been conducted specifically to explore the experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS and taking antiretroviral medications in Nairobi. This study specifically sought to: describe individuals’ feelings before and after initiation of antiretroviral medications; ascertain whether there is stigma associated with taking antiretroviral medications; Identify support mechanisms available for people taking antiretroviral medications; describe challenges individuals face as a result of taking antiretroviral medications, and establish coping mechanisms available for antiretroviral medication related challenges.

This study was a cross sectional qualitative inquiry that used in-depth interviews to explore the experiences of people on antiretroviral medications in Nairobi. The results showed that before taking antiretroviral medications, participants were feeling hopeless, sad and frustrated. However, when they started the antiretroviral medications, their feelings changed positively to feelings of hope and courage. Family support is crucial for good adherence to antiretroviral medications; though these medications pose the greatest challenge of treatment side effects. In summary, this study showed that antiretroviral medications are a greatest investment in the physical, medical and psychosocial welfare for people living with HIV/AIDS.


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