Spirituality in HIV-infected individuals: A phenomenological study


Volume 2 - Number

Article Type: ---- Unspecified ----

Background & Aim: HIV/AIDS is a well-recognized global problem in the world, including Iran. It is necessary to comprehend and understand lived experience of HIV positive patients. The present study was designed and conducted to better understand the perspectives and experiences of HIV positive patients about the role of the spirituality and religious beliefs in their lives with HIV/AIDS. Methods & Materials: This qualitative study was conducted using an interpretative phenomenological approach. In-depth, audio-taped and semistructured interviews with 19 participants were conducted to collect data. Data were transcript. Observations were also recorded in comprehensive field notes. A hermeneutic approach was used to analyze the data, according to the method developed by Diekelmann. Results: According to the findings, participants aged between 21 and 56 years of old at the time of contamination to the HIV. Almost half (47.4%) of the participants had CD4 counts under 200 cells/mm3. Analyzes of the data revealed three main themes: (a) Redefining religious values and communicating with God; (b) Compensation; and (c) Individual development. The themes included some sub-themes. Conclusion: Experiencing difficult conditions in HIV positive individuals provide them with an opportunity to return to religious values, redefine themselves and give meaning to their lives, rather than fear or disappointment. Communicating with other HIV positive patients and religious experts are suggested as additional appropriate strategies.