The Personal Experiences of HIV/AIDS Patients in Rural Areas of Western China
AbstractBecause of unique economic, cultural, and social factors, the personal experiences of HIV/AIDS patients in the rural areas of western China are not well understood. The aim of this study was to explore HIV/AIDS patients' thoughts and personal experiences in the environment and conditions of rural western China. Sixteen HIV/AIDS patients from remote western areas of China were interviewed by using an established qualitative method, during April to June 2008. The interviews were transcribed, and the findings were extracted after the interview content was read, classified, and analyzed repeatedly. We uncovered five general categories of personal experiences: worsening of family economic status, profound influence of traditional village culture, the family as the dynamic of surviving, an enhanced sense of familial responsibility, and dramatic psychological changes. The results of this study can provide useful information to assist health care professionals in China in their efforts to improve the general condition of these HIV/AIDS patients.