Scientific article
Open access

Coping with an HIV infection. A multicenter qualitative survey on HIV positive adolescents' perceptions of their disease, therapeutic adherence and treatment

CollaboratorsWyler, Claire-Anne
Published inSchweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, vol. 140, no. 17-18, p. 247-253
Publication date2010

HIV-positive adolescents face a number of challenges in dealing with their disease and its treatment. In this qualitative study, twenty-nine HIV-positive adolescents aged 13 to 20 years (22 girls), who live in Switzerland, were asked, in a semi-structured interview (duration of 40-110 minutes), to describe their perceptions and experiences with the disease itself and with therapeutic adherence. While younger adolescents most often thought of their disease as fate, older adolescents usually knew that they had received it through vertical transmission, although the topic appeared to be particularly difficult to discuss for those living with their HIV-positive mothers. Based on their attending physician's assessment, 18 subjects were judged highly adherent, 4 fairly and 7 poorly adherent. High adherence appeared linked with adequate psychological adjustment and effective coping mechanisms, as well as with the discussion and adoption of explicit medication-taking strategies. The setting and organisation of health care teams should allow for ongoing discussions with HIV-positive adolescents that focus on their perceptions of their disease, how they cope with it and with the treatment, and how they could improve their adherence.

  • *Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Anti-HIV Agents/*therapeutic use
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • HIV Infections/diagnosis/epidemiology/*psychology
  • *Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Male
  • *Medication Adherence
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • *Perception
  • Qualitative Research
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Switzerland/epidemiology
  • Young Adult
Citation (ISO format)
MICHAUD, Pierre-André et al. Coping with an HIV infection. A multicenter qualitative survey on HIV positive adolescents” perceptions of their disease, therapeutic adherence and treatment. In: Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, 2010, vol. 140, n° 17-18, p. 247–253. doi: 10.4414/smw-12834
Main files (1)
ISSN of the journal0036-7672

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