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The Experience of Growing Old While Living With HIV in Spain

A Phenomenological Study

Leyva-Moral, Juan M., PhD, RN*; Martínez-Batlle, Francesc, BPharm; Vázquez-Naveira, Miguel, BChem; Hernández-Fernández, Juanse, BPhilol; Villar-Salgueiro, Marta, BPsych

Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care: January-February 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 111–118
doi: 10.1097/JNC.0000000000000032
Research Article

HIV infection has transformed from a deadly disease into a chronic infection with low mortality. Using descriptive phenomenology, this study was designed to describe the lived experience of aging among persons living with HIV in Spain. Twenty-four participants ages 50 years or older were interviewed. Data were analyzed using Colaizzi's method. Aging with HIV made participants aware of the process of growing old, a stage of life they never expected to reach. They acknowledged the physical changes their bodies were undergoing, mostly due to the HIV and as a consequence of antiretroviral therapy. Most participants had financial problems and felt lonely. The participants highlighted how others had positively and negatively influenced their lives and, finally, how they learned to cope and then to accept living with HIV infection, be ready to help peers, and fight against discrimination. More research is needed to reduce loneliness, evaluate the impact of financial problems on health, and identify barriers and facilitators for adaptation, coping, and resilience in persons living with HIV ages 50 years or older.

Juan M. Leyva-Moral, PhD, RN, is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing, Faculty of Medicine, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. Francesc Martínez-Batlle, BPharm, is a Health Technician, Grupo de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH (gTt-VIH), Barcelona, Spain. Miguel Vázquez-Naveira, BChem, is a Community Manager, Grupo de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH (gTt-VIH), Barcelona, Spain. Juanse Hernández-Fernández, BPhilol, is a Health Technician and Member of the Board of Directors, Grupo de Trabajo sobre Tratamientos del VIH (gTt-VIH), Barcelona, Spain. Marta Villar-Salgueiro, BPsych, is a Health Technician, Grupo de trabajo sobre tratamientos del VIH (gTt-VIH), Barcelona, Spain.

Corresponding author: Juan M. Leyva-Moral, e-mail:

Sponsorships or competing interests that may be relevant to content are disclosed at the end of this article.

© 2019 Association of Nurses in AIDS Care
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