The HIV Diagnostic Process in the Context of Stable Relationships: Interpretive Description


  • Ana Paula Vieira de Deus Escola de Ciências Sociais e da Saúde, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Goiás, Brasil
  • Vanessa da Silva Carvalho Vila Escola de Ciências Sociais e da Saúde, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Goiás, Brasil



HIV, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, Spouses, Interpersonal Relations, Qualitative research


Introduction: The lack of strategies for HIV prevention, aimed at couples, brought to light a distinct vulnerability, as they do not feel they belong to a population exposed to the infection, providing the opportunity for a late diagnosis. Objective: To understand the experience of HIV with an emphasis on facing the diagnostic process in the context of stable relationships. Interpretive thematic analysis was implemented. Method: This is a descriptive, interpretive study. Twenty people participated, 17 of whom were HIV positive and three partnerships (two HIV negative and one HIV positive). These people were treated at an outpatient health service specialized in the care of people with HIV / AIDS in the Midwest region of Brazil Result: The HIV diagnostic process was marked by determining factors for the search for the health service, after the experience symptoms, routine exams and confirmation of contamination by the partnership. Participants attributed the possible causes of contamination by the virus, unprotected sex, sharing of materials and accidents with biological material. Receiving the diagnosis was described as a lonely path, marked by feelings of denial, suffering, and isolation that brought complex therapeutic and social demands to these people's lives, requiring readaptation to activities of daily living. It was found that condom use before HIV diagnosis was a challenge. Many did not use it because they trusted the stable partnership. Conclusion: The discovery of HIV brought changes and adaptations necessary to maintain life. Prejudice, fear of judgment and stigma are the main challenges in the experience of HIV, with great responsibility for the services.


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How to Cite

Ana Paula Vieira de Deus, & Vanessa da Silva Carvalho Vila. (2021). The HIV Diagnostic Process in the Context of Stable Relationships: Interpretive Description. New Trends in Qualitative Research, 9, 327–335.