Persons' experience of HIV/AIDS in Japan: application of Margaret Newman's theory

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Abstract

Purpose

To describe human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) persons' experience in Japan applying Margaret Newman's theory of health as expanding consciousness.

Method

Five men who had sex with other men and who were afflicted with HIV/AIDS were interviewed to describe their experience.

Findings

Their narratives revealed an evolving pattern of the whole of five stages; self-conscious of own sexual orientation, chaos, stagnation, turning point and regaining a new identity. After viewing their pattern, their expanding consciousness was evident from their becoming compassionate for those who were underserved and underprivileged, and having deeper levels of connectedness with their family and friends. The a priori nature of theory in this praxis research was evident when the researcher embodied the theory of expanding consciousness.

Recommendations

The findings of the study demonstrated the relevance and importance of understanding how the condition intersects with race, gender and ethnicity in constructing the unique experience of living with HIV/AIDS. Community health workers, community mental health nurses in particular, should be cognizant of the illness trajectory of those who are afflicted with the condition. Programmes such as outreach should be carried out on an ongoing basis in order to identify and render support to those who might need help from various stages of illness. Community health workers should identify clients' specific needs to refer to appropriate services because there are physical, mental and socio-economic implications throughout illness trajectory in HIV/AIDS.

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