The Lived Experience of Indian Women with HIV/AIDS in South Africa: A Phenomenological Inquiry
Ronica Subramoney

Background: South Africa is a multi-ethnic country that has been hardest hit by the HIV/AIDS epidemic. A steady increase in HIV/AIDS infection rates among the Indian population in Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) has been noted because of their failure to accept HIV/AIDS as a threat. HIV/AIDS clearly affects all race groups; however, there is a lack of research on Indian women with HIV/AIDS in KZN despite their vulnerability to the disease. This phenomenological research aimed to better understand the essence of the experience of living with HIV/AIDS.
Purpose: The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study wasto explore the lived experience of Indian women living in KZN with HIV/AIDS. This research aimed to give Indian women a voice to express their individual experience living with the disease, to provide an inductive description of the lived experience, and to gain understanding of the essence of the experience of living with HIV/AIDS. Philosophical Underpinning: Guided by the phenomenological perspective of Max van Manen.
Methods: A purposive sample of Indian women from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa with HIV/AIDS was selected to explore the overarching question: What is the lived experience of living with HIV/AIDS? Data collection occurred from hour-long semi-structured interviews that were tape-recorded, transcribed for verification, and member checked. Data analysis included describing, interpreting, and textual writing as guided by van Manen.
Results: Therelated themes of themes of struggling, isolating, supporting, and hoping emerged as a total representation of the Indian’s women’s liveswith HIV/AIDS. Conclusions: This research study exposed the depth of the challenges confronting the Indian women with HIV/AIDS. A significant dimension of this experience of living with HIV/AIDS was the search for meaning, which the women were compelled to address in order to move forward in their respective lives.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/ijhs.v3n2a10