Edorium Journal of

Public Health

 
     
Original Article
 
Experiences and coping strategies of adolescents living with HIV at community level in Zambia
Purity M. Linyaku1,2, Oliver Mweemba1, Joseph M. Zulu2
1Department of Public Health, Section of Health Promotion and Education, School of Medicine, University of Zambia, Lusaka, P.O. Box 50110, Zambia
2Minstry of Health, Lusaka District, Zambia

Article ID: 100015P16PL2017
doi:10.5348/P16-2017-15-OA-7

Address correspondence to:
Purity M. Linyaku
Department of Public Health, Section of Health Promotion and Education
School of Medicine, University of Zambia
Lusaka, P.O. Box 50110
Zambia

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How to cite this article
Linyaku PM, Mweemba O, Zulu JM. Experiences and coping strategies of adolescents living with HIV at community level in Zambia. Edorium J Public Health 2017;4:48–57.


ABSTRACT

Aims: Although interventions for addressing the health aspects of adolescents living with HIV are in place, studies however indicate that there is limited documentation of experiences of adolescents living with HIV. Such knowledge could help HIV programs to better respond to their needs. This study explored experiences of adolescents aged 10–19 living with HIV in Kanyama community, Lusaka district of Zambia.
Methods: A phenomenological study design was used to explore experiences of adolescents living with HIV and what helps them to cope with their condition. Data were collected using in-depth interviews with 24 adolescents living with HIV and analyzed using thematic analysis.
Results: There were variations regarding their experience with HIV disclosure process. While some adolescents felt good after disclosure, others were sad after being told that they were HIV positive. Some adolescents were not pleased with the idea of disclosing their HIV status without their consent. Most adolescents felt supported by their family members while a few experienced stigma which contributed to stress and depression. Adolescents appreciated the use of drugs, however, they reported that they experienced difficulties in adhering to treatment. Some adolescents reported being denied to visit friends as their guardians feared that they may forget to take the drugs. Both girls and boys had concerns about antiretroviral therapy services provided only during week days as they expected to be in class thus limiting accessibility to services. Copying strategies for the challenges experienced included resilience, treatment, non-disclosure, spiritual intervention, social support and support from non-governmental organizations.
Conclusion: Understanding both the positive and negative experiences of adolescents living with HIV and copying strategies may help in developing interventions that enhance positive living among adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescents living with HIV, Coping strategies, Experiences


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Acknowledgements
This paper is part of a Master project on experiences and coping strategies of adolescents living with HIV at community level in Zambia. We are indebted to the Ministry of Community Development Mother and Child Health, Zambia, for authorising the study, and to adolescents for participating in the study.

Author Contributions
Purity M. Linyaku – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Acquisition of data, Analysis and interpretation of data, Drafting Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Oliver Mweemba – Analysis and interpretation of data, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Joseph M. Zulu – Substantial contributions to conception and design, Revising it critically for important intellectual content, Final approval of the version to be published
Guarantor of submission
The corresponding author is the guarantor of submission.
Source of support
None
Conflict of interest
Authors declare no conflict of interest.
Copyright
© 2017 Purity M. Linyaku et al. This article is distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium provided the original author(s) and original publisher are properly credited. Please see the copyright policy on the journal website for more information.



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