Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Science
Title HIV Among Older Adults: Quality of Life and Disability Experiences in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL https://macsphere.mcmaster.ca/bitstream/11375/18209/2/Cheuk_Samantha_C_final_submission_2015_​September_MSc._Global_Health.pdf
Abstract
In 2014, UNAIDS published the Gap Report that identified adults aged 50 years and
older as a vulnerable group being left behind in HIV treatment and prevention efforts
(UNAIDS, 2014). This manuscript thesis is composed of two data chapters that aim to
address the gap in the HIV, aging, and disability literature by exploring what is known about
the quality of life and disability experiences of older adults aged 50 years and older living
with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The purpose of the scoping review was to map out
published literature on quality of life among older adults living with HIV in SSA. Following
Arksey & O’Malley’s framework for conducting scoping reviews, 6 databases were searched
resulting in 1021 titles and abstracts that were screened for inclusion resulting in a total of 8
articles included for review and synthesis. The review confirmed a dearth in research
literature on older adults living with HIV in SSA as included studies were only conducted in
2 out of 47 countries in the region. The qualitative study addressed this gap in knowledge by
exploring the disability- related experiences of 10 older men and women living with HIV in
Zambia. The qualitative study identified 5 major themes: 1. Multiple Symptoms and
Impairments: Variation in Onset and Duration; 2. Daily Activities and Participation: Shaped
by Gender Roles; 3. HIV Status Disclosure: Hindered by Stigma, Driven By A Purpose; 4)
Poverty and Food Insecurity: Precarious Employment; and 5) Managing An Altered
Uncertainty: Changes Resulting From A Prolonged Life. These findings demonstrated that
while participants were benefiting from antiretroviral therapy, many still experienced
disability. The component studies in this thesis complement one another and advance
dialogue about the quality of life and experiences of disability in older adults living with HIV
in SSA and points to a need for further research so that fewer people are left behind.

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