- Longing for belonging: Adolescents' experiences of living with HIV in different types of families in Swaziland
A. De Lannoy
- Award date
- 18 January 2017
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This study illuminates adolescents’ everyday life experiences of living with HIV in different family contexts in the Manzini region in Swaziland, and the tactics they used to navigate the social and health system environments in their management of the HIV illness and disease. A significant proportion of the adolescents who participated in study had been orphaned by the epidemic, resulting in some having to live in single-parent households, step families, skipped-generation households, in child-headed households, in foster homes or on their own. The study reveal a disconnect between the idealised family referred to in global and national HIV policy guidelines and biomedical practices at the health facility level on the one hand, and adolescents’ perceptions of the family on the other. The study shows how the desire for belonging, described as a sense of emotional and psychological connection, and of being welcomed and accepted, was a central quest among adolescents regardless of the type of family they lived in and with: adolescents shared how having the same diagnosis (HIV), being on the same treatment (ART), experiencing similar challenges such as being stigmatised, created among them a strong sense of familyness, of safety and being “one big family”.
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