The meaningful social network of a woman after the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS

Following the understanding that the social network influences one's health and that one's health influences the maintenance of their social network, this article aims to compreehend the configuration of the social network of an HIV-carrier woman, considering meanings made about the diagnosis and its effects over the woman's life and relationships. The information presented in this study was collected through an individual interview, which was developed based in a semi-structured script organized in two moments: an initial conversation about the receiving of the diagnosis of HIV/aids; and a more specific conversation about the configuration of the woman's meaningful social network, which had the construction of a "network diagram" as a resource. This interview was recorded in audio and fully transcribed. The analysis of this interview was developed by the method of a case study, under the contributions of the social constructionist movement. The analysis illustrates how the context of vulnerability, the impact of the diagnosis, and the discourses surrounding HIV/aids are intertwined, impacting the life of an HIV-positive woman and influencing the construction of her social network. We discuss how important it is for healthcare work to include a relational sensibility that emphasizes an understanding of the person as a part of a network and a specific social context. Thus, we expect to contribute to healthcare practices that aim at reducing the impact of the diagnosis to the HIV-positive women lives and relationships (FAPESP).

HIV; women's health; social networks

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