Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Doctor of Literature and Philosophy
Title Lived experiences of HIV sero-discordant couples in Botswana
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL http://uir.unisa.ac.za/bitstream/handle/10500/14386/thesis_baratedi_wm.pdf?sequence=1
The phenomenon of HIV discordance has been in existence for a long time along with HIV.
However, very limited attention has been given to HIV discordance. This phenomenological
study aimed at gaining a deeper understanding on the lived experiences of sero-discordant
couples in Botswana. Reports show that discordance in Botswana is around 17%. The main
objectives of this study were to identify HIV discordant couples living in Botswana and explore
their knowledge and understanding of the situation, explore the psychological, social and sexual
experiences of the HIV discordant couples and determine its impact in their lives, and examine
the meaning they attach to such experiences and challenges they face as well as their coping
strategies. A qualitative phenomenological approach using face to face in-depth interviews was
used to explore and describe meanings and experience as lived by the HIV discordant couples.
The study sample consisted of forty-six (N=46) (twenty-nine (n=29) females and seventeen
(n=17) males) participants selected using purposive sampling from three cities in Botswana.
The Inclusion criteria were that participants should be aged 21 years and above; with no known
diagnosis of mental illness; having been in a discordant relationship for at least six months at
the time of data collection; living in Botswana and willing to participate in the study. The findings
were that there are three forms of discordance, which are: discordant unaware which are
couples who went into the relation unaware of their HIV status. Discordant aware; those who got
into the relationship already knowing each other’s HIV status and discordantly discordant which
are those with differing HIV status and differing motives of going into the relationship. These are
the couples that conceal their status from one another. The results revealed intense
emotional/psychological, sexual and social stresses as experienced by couples. HIV discordant
goes through three phases of initial shock, conflict and resolution. The researcher recommends
the OPEN DESK MODEL to be integrated in the health facilities to encompass the concept of a
family or couple and as a unit.

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