Focusing on living: attitudinal approaches of long-term survivors of AIDS.
This naturalistic study reports the attitudinal approaches of long-term survivors of AIDS. Ethnographic interviewing techniques were employed to interview a purposive sample of 14 men and 6 women who had had AIDS for at least 3 years and who were living in the Tampa/St. Petersburg, FL, area. As part of a larger study on the phenomenon of surviving AIDS, participants reconstructed their lives within the context of AIDS. There were five dimensions involved in becoming a long-term survivor, and this article reports on the attitudinal dimension, labelled "focusing on living." Components of this dimension include having a positive attitude, planning for the future, and having a focus for one's energies. Implications for practice, theory, and research are discussed, and specific strategies are suggested for nurses to assist people in all stages of HIV disease.
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