Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Nursing


School of Nursing


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

Professor Ann McMurray

Second Advisor

Miriarn Langridge

Third Advisor

Rycki Maltby


This phenomenological study was undertaken to describe the meaning of living with HIV infection. Descriptive phenomenology was utilised to investigate the lived experiences of persons who had human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV/ AIDS), describe common elements, themes or patterns of lived experiences of persons with HIV / AIDS, and analyse the meaning of lived experiences of persons with HIV/ AIDS. Twelve Australians, experiencing HIV infection and participating in the community support groups in Perth, volunteered as participants. Two participated in the pilot study. The other ten participants were interviewed individually for the main study. Intensive open-end questions pertaining to the experiences of living with HIV infection were asked during interviews which were audiotaped, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using Colaizzi's (1978) method of analysis. Significant statements were gathered and clustered into themes. Validity and reliability was confirmed during data analysis. The phenomenon of living with HIV infection emerged as experiences of social discrimination, emotional disturbances, changes, losses, suicide attempts, and dealing with the difficulties. The experiences of living with HIV were influenced by chronic illness, terminal illness, and social stigmatisation towards people with HIV. Roy's (1984) Adaptation Model was utilised as a second level for analysis. The Model was able to be applied to explain the experiences of living with IDV to a certain degree. Human responses to a variety of situations showed similar patterns in people living with HIV infection.

Included in

Nursing Commons