Lived Experience of Adolescents Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus at Tikur Anbesa Specialized Hospital, Ethiopia: A Phenomenological Study

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Addis Abeba University


Background: Ethiopia has a considerable number of adolescents who acquired HIV through vertical and horizontal transmission. An adolescence living with HIV has various concerns and their life is surrounded by embarrassment, dilemma, loneliness, defamation, rejection and fear of their status known by others. However the life experience of adolescents living with HIV is not well explored. The present pace of research concerning to adolescents with HIV experience is still not enough comparing with the needs of adolescents living with HIV. Therefore, this study was conducted to explore the lived experience of adolescents living with HIV. Methods: A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted from Februarys 8- march 8 2021 at Tikur Anbesa specialized hospital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia among 18 study participants who were from 10-19 years who had acquired HIV horizontal or vertical transmission. They were chosen by purposive sampling technique. A semi-structured open ended interview guide was used for collecting data. The interview was audio recorded, transcribed and translated to English by the principal investigator. The translated data was imported to Atlas Ti 8 software for coding and categorization. To assure trustworthiness the principles which are basic were applied. Finally results were summarized using thematic analysis. Result: The participants in this study expressed living with HIV have several challenges. Feelings of loneliness, being sad and angry were reported. After disclosure benefits were gotten that helped to increase adherence of drug and they understood about their disease. The adolescents don’t tell their status to others because of fear of stigmatization. Most of the participants perceived a positive spouse for the future so that to understand and help with each other. They would like it if there is no stigmatization among the society and wanted more advanced medication. Majority of participants have bright future about their life and some wants to have their own family in the future. Conclusion and recommendations: In this study it is revealed adolescents who are living with HIV have numerous challenges and concerns. Therefore multiple interventions at individual, community and organizational levels are suggested to support and satisfy the health requirements of the adolescents.



Adolescents, Living with HIV, Lived experiences, Phenomenology