Living Positively Academic Article uri icon


  • Living with an incurable illness such as HIV/AIDS is a stressful experience. However, many HIV-positive individuals are able to maintain their emotional well-being. This begs the question of what strategies these individuals employ to allow them to do so. In this article, we examine how Thai women living with HIV/AIDS learned about their health status, what feelings they had, and how they dealt with the illness. In-depth interviews were conducted with 26 women in central Thailand. The women adopted several strategies to deal with their HIV status, including taking care of themselves, accepting their own faith, disclosing their HIV status to family, and joining AIDS support groups. These strategies can be situated within the "living positively" discourse, which helped to create a sense of optimism to combat the HIV epidemic among the women. Additionally, the acceptance of their HIV status played an essential role in the meaning-making process because it assisted the women in sustaining the equilibrium of their emotional well-being.

publication date

  • April 2012