Perceptions that People Newly Diagnosed with HIV Have on Health
Introduction: The perception of health is an important tool in promoting the quality of life of newly diagnosed people living with HIV/AIDS, since the understanding of this reality is a decisive factor in the decision making process.
Goal: to evaluate the perception that newly diagnosed people with HIV have on health.
Methodology: exploratory and descriptive research with quantitative and qualitative approach carried out between June and October 2015 in a reference center for treatment of sexually transmitted infections in Fortaleza-CE, Brazil. People living with HIV/AIDS diagnosed in the last 6 months participated in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with guiding questions, whose data were analyzed based on the technique of the discourse of the collective subject and absolute and relative frequencies were used for analysis of quantitative data.
Results: There was a predominance of males (83.3%) aged ≥ 39 years (53.3%), homosexual or bisexual (70%), with level of schooling ≥ 8 years (76.7%), users of illicit drugs (16.7%), and consumers of alcohol at a frequency of once a month (50%). Testimonials revealed the following core ideas: 1. Health means to have balance; 2. Health means not being sick; 3. Be healthy despite living with HIV; 4. Changes in lifestyle after diagnosis and 5. Factors that prevent a healthy life.
Conclusion: According to the perception of newly diagnosed people with HIV, health is intrinsically linked to the absence of diseases, regular attendance at follow-up visits, the adherence to antiretroviral therapy and healthy eating.
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