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Physis: Revista de Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1809-4481


CUNHA, Claudia Carneiro da. Between storylines and dramas: the meanings of HIV/Aids treatment for lower class women. Physis [online]. 2010, vol.20, n.3, pp.931-951. ISSN 1809-4481.

This paper discusses the psychosocial meanings of HIV/Aids treatment, using qualitative methods to assess daily operations of a reference hospital, located in Baixada Fluminense, Rio de Janeiro's outskirts. In-depth interviews were carried out with 10 women living with HIV/Aids, under antiretroviral (ARV) therapy. The meaning of treatment is related to: the impact of the diagnosis; the treatment moment, concerning different phases of living with the disease; the public and private spaces where a woman preferable lives with the disease and does her treatment; sharing or not information about the disease/treatment with partner; the search for other rationalities (religion and alternative medicine) as a counterpoint to medical prescriptions; the establishment or not of emotional inlays with the doctor. There is an interrelation of taking care of the kid(s) and taking care of themselves (referring to ARV therapy). Self-care is seen as an affirmation of life. That is what gives the person the measure of health. "Not to let the sick person take place" means keeping away from depression. The disease materializes itself in the body that uses the medication, but it is possible, even it is hard, to conciliate life routine with therapy. We highlight the fundamental importance of time for the creation of strategies that facilitate the insertion of the disease and treatment in daily life.

Keywords : HIV; Aids; women; HIV/Aids treatment; adherence.

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