Coping strategies and impact of disease among people living with HIV/AIDS: A qualitative study


  • Farooq Ahmed Noor Department of Pathology, Divisional Headquarters Teaching Hospital, Mirpur
  • Zahida Qasim Associate Professor of Pathology DHQ Teaching Hospital Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir
  • Noor e Saba Regional Blood Centre, Department of Health, Peshawar
  • Yasir Farhan Tehsil Headquarters Hospital, Murree
  • Muhammad Kaleem Department of Pathology, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Medical College, Mirpur
  • Ahmed Ali Khalid Department of Surgery, Ayub Teaching Hospital, Abbottabad
  • Akhlaaq Wazeer Department of Pathology, Divisional Headquarters Teaching Hospital, Mirpur


Objective: The current study was undertaken to qualitatively investigate the coping strategies and impact of disease in HIV/AIDS patients.

Methodology: The study was conducted at the Divisional Headquarters Teaching Hospital, Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The hospital is a divisional hospital for three districts namely Mirpur, Kotli, and Bhimber catering to a population of approximately 1.5 million. In-depth interviews and focus group discussions were conducted with twenty HIV/AIDS patients. For the analysis, the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis technique was used. The major domain of the impact of HIV/AIDS was further divided into nine major themes. The other major domain was coping with HIV/AIDS which included themes of spiritual coping, problem-focused coping, and avoidance coping.

Results: Findings highlighted depression among people living with HIV/AIDS. The first sub-theme was the positive aspect which explains the family attitude towards illness as now they have become more caring and supportive towards the participant. The impact of disease is multifaceted including social, emotional, financial, and occupational. The participants were more inclined towards spiritual coping and problem-focused coping as compared to the avoidance coping.

Conclusion: The findings of the study highlighted the need of the assessment and management of the participants through a psychologist. HIV/AIDS patients need counseling and awareness on the disease and the things to consider while on treatment to cope with the stress. They must be provided the updated information on HIV/AIDS. The management of HIV/AIDS patients requires that issues of psychological stresses be coped with professionalism.





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