Diagnosis and stigma and identity amongst HIV positive Black Africans living in the UK

Flowers, Paul; Davis, Mark; Hart, Graham; Rosengarten, Marsha and Imrie, John. 2006. Diagnosis and stigma and identity amongst HIV positive Black Africans living in the UK. Psychology and Health, 21(1), pp. 109-122. ISSN 0887-0446 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Individual in-depth, semi-structured interviews with 30 HIV positive Black Africans were conducted in London, UK. The interviews focused upon experiential accounts of living with HIV. The interviews were transcribed and analysed for recurrent themes using interpretative phenomenological analysis. The social context of being a Black African living in the UK emerged as an important framework within which the experience of being HIV positive was positioned. In terms of people's accounts of their own experiences of living with HIV, diagnosis figured as an important moment in people's lives. The majority of participants were surprised and upset upon receiving their positive antibody test results. Many reported a period of depression and social isolation. Stigma and prejudice associated with HIV also emerged as a major force shaping the daily lives of the participants. We discuss the role of identity and social context in disrupting the medical meaning of diagnostic tests.

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Identification Number (DOI):



HIV, Aids, IPA, Black African, UK, diagnostic test, identity, antibody, medical, interview, interpretative phenomenological analysis

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Study of Invention and Social Process (CSISP) [2003-2015]



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Date Deposited:

28 May 2009 10:44

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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