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The names that appear throughout this article are pseudonyms to protect participant identities. Potential participants were informed about the study by program staff and by flyers posted at the agencies.

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The findings presented in this article are part of a larger ethnographic study investigating the positive impact of illness among a group of HIV-positive Puerto Rican men living in Boston. First, prior to initiating a systematic data analysis of the transcriptions, a precoding stage was performed. The coding of the transcripts was completed in the original language of the interview. However, he felt it was safe and convenient given that this person was also HIV positive.

This article reports on findings from 24 in-depth interviews conducted during the second phase of research. Often, such disclosures were received with rejection, motivating censorship from seeking romantic relationships. That the illness was like cancer or other illness. The major objective of the interviews was to explore how these men live with HIV as a chronic illness and, specifically, to document everyday living with HIV.

The interviews included a short questionnaire to collect general demographic information and HIV history. The second step consisted of coding the text for emergent themes following an inductive approach Thomas, to document strategies for adjusting to living long-term with HIV and for coping with the stigmatized notions attached to the illness. All the participants agreed to be recorded and each session was transcribed using the original language. Additionally, individuals had to be able to give informed consent to participate. Memos were then used as codes to link them directly to the text during the coding stage.

In this regard, research has identified that although advances in medical science can reduce the risk of transmission Cohen et al.

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The participants were asked questions about living with HIV, including their experiences of illness, stigma, and life changes since their diagnosis. Other men in the study did not feel an HIV diagnosis necessarily prevented or limited them from having active social lives and intimate relationships with HIV-negative women. A total of 31 interviews were conducted with HIV-positive Puerto Rican men during that phase of research.

This stage primarily included a quotation frequency analysis, a report of the of instances that any given code was used to determine coding trends. Learn More.

However, while these studies mostly document negative experiences, such as stigma and discrimination, little is known about the social adaptations to living with HIV in everyday life, particularly with regard to dating, marriage, and parenthood. I cannot take a risk like that. Date a Haven rican man of the literature on relationships among HIV-positive men, mostly based on studies with men who have sex with men MSMhave noted the difficulties and tension of finding a partner and disclosing the HIV status. To address this gap, this study used a qualitative study de to examine patterns and strategies for dating, marriage, and parenthood among 24 HIV-positive heterosexual Puerto Rican men living in Boston.

That is, despite the diagnosis and stereotypes of illness, these men exercise agency through everyday practices in normalizing their social lives to redefine what it means to live with HIV. The experiences shared by the men are organized thematically into three main to describe, in the context of HIV, a dating and sex, b marriage, and c fatherhood.

You know, perhaps for the fear of being rejected. Only two interviews were conducted in English. The participants were asked for and gave informed consent prior to participating in the study. To our knowledge, no studies have been conducted in the United States that examine dating, marriage, and parenthood among Latino HIV-positive heterosexual men as they normalize their lives within the context of HIV. To begin addressing this gap in the literature, qualitative method was used to examine how a group of heterosexual HIV-positive Puerto Rican men engage in dating and approach marriage and family planning.

The data management, coding, and analysis were done using Atlas. The desire to father children is particularly greater among men without children in comparison with men who had fathered children prior to their diagnosis Chen et al. Participants from the exploratory focus groups Phase 1 were excluded from the in-depth interviews Phase 2.

Interviews were conducted in the preferred language of the respondent, the majority of which chose Spanish. All the translations were checked and edited for accuracy by the lead author. Our analysis is set within a discussion of the experience of illness framework Pierret, exploring the concept of normalcy to expand work on the incorporation of HIV into everyday life Baumgartner, The research community has posited important questions about how people manage life after a diagnosis: how is everyday life informed by the disease, how are individuals shaped by the social and cultural context of the illness, and how do people as new meaning to their lives?

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What follows is a rich, qualitative description of the experiences of 24 Puerto Rican heterosexual men as they reconcile their HIV status into their personal and social lives. More precisely, Miller describes the process in terms of transformation and adaptation, that is, the adjustment involves developing the ability to see life with illness, including the accompanying changes and challenges, as normal.

The present article reports on findings from a qualitative research study that examined the social lives of a group of HIV-positive heterosexual Puerto Rican men in Boston, Massachusetts.

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The translations were completed by an independent translator. The patterns and themes observed during this exploratory stage were documented using the Memo function in Atlas. The 1. The overall aim of this study was to explore positive adaptations to living with HIV as a chronic illness.

After the analysis, selected passages from the interviews were translated into English to be included in the text of this article. Negative experiences, including stigma, isolation, and rejection, are common among people living with HIV Herek et al. I prefer … to use my five fingers showing his right hand to indicate masturbation or to look for a stripper and wear a condom, or look for a person that is like me HIV-positive.

The qualitative study consisted of three phases of data collection: Phase 1 exploratory research using focus groups, followed by Phase 2 semi-structured in-depth interviews, and Phase 3 a town-hall meeting format presentation to validate the study findings. Other participants in the study took a similar approach opting to dating exclusively HIV-positive women.

In fact, for some of the men, engaging in these social and life-changing events is part of moving on and normalizing life with HIV; these men planned for, achieved, and interpreted these events in the context of establishing normalcy with HIV. Although the HIV diagnosis discouraged some men from engaging in sexual relations, getting married, or having children, others fulfilled these desires with strategies aimed to reconciling their HIV status in their personal life, including dating or marrying HIV-positive women only.

To maintain the integrity of the data, the interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Not all men rejected relationships completely once diagnosed. Interested participants contacted the lead author and were then screened to determine eligibility. Many of the interviewed men remarked that disclosing HIV status to potential partners was challenging.

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Specifically, the authors describe the strategies of reconciling living with HIV into everyday life by examining the personal lives of this group of men. The impact of illness on everyday life has been the focus of many studies that examine the adjustments people make when facing an incurable illness Nack, ; Shaul, ; Townsend, ; see also Charmaz, ; Larsen, This body of research demonstrates that people with chronic illness follow an adjustment process that involves strategies Royer, for redefining a sense of normalcy that coincides with the level of functioning determined by the condition.

Hatala, Baack, and Parmenter identified that even when using dating sites where anonymity is possible e. Entering the dating world and, particularly, having intimate relationships was reported to be difficult after an HIV diagnosis by some of the participants in the study. Understanding the personal struggles, decision-making patterns, and needs of HIV-positive heterosexual men can aid in deing interventions that support healthy living with HIV. Despite challenges, an HIV diagnosis does not preclude dating, marrying, or having a family.

Dating, marriage, and parenthood for hiv-positive heterosexual puerto rican men: normalizing perspectives on everyday life with hiv

A Certificate of Confidentiality was obtained to ensure maximum protection for study participants. I know people that are healthy and are with others who are HIV, but it is a big risk. This analysis was central to uncovering the themes described in this article. Although research has extensively documented the experiences of illness of people living with HIV, dating, marriage, and fatherhood among heterosexual Latino men has not been examined. The data analysis was conducted in three stages.

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At this stage, particular attention was directed toward identifying patterns in the data: commonalities, discrepancies, curiosities, metaphors, and selections of words, as well as outlier events and cases. Given this scenario, one man elected relationships that perhaps would have never been considered prior to being diagnosed with HIV.

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Dating and marriage after an HIV diagnosis is challenging; often, HIV-positive men face many issues when trying to reengage in sex and meeting life partners. By examining how heterosexual men approach dating, marriage, and parenthood following an HIV diagnosis, this article aims to contribute to the scarce literature on the experience of illness of HIV-positive heterosexual men. Although a great volume of research has been conducted on relationship choices among men living with HIV, the majority of the work has focused on MSM populations.

The findings in our study indicate that an HIV diagnosis does not necessarily deter men from having an active sexual life, marrying, or having children. In the case of HIV, diagnosis is a life-changing event accompanied with feelings of despair and loss. One man listed his options to ease the fear of disclosure and prevent exposing others to HIV:.

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Finally, to complement the systematic qualitative data analysis, additional data mining techniques were performed to explore the data for additional patterns and themes. Interviews were semistructured and open-ended to explore key research topics. In efforts to focus our research on heterosexual men, 7 participants who self-identified as gay during the interview were excluded from the analysis. Fatherhood is important in the lives of HIV-positive men. Given the original language of these interviews and in an effort to maintain accuracy while reporting thesethe quotations were translated without regard to prescriptive rules of English syntax.

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These studies have identified that men either avoid sex altogether, engage in casual sex-only relationships, or become involved in committed or long-term relationships Relf et al. Additional important themes identified in this study include the decision to disclose HIV status to new sexual partners as well as the decision to accept the risk of HIV transmission to or partner in order to fulfill desires of fatherhood. Seroconcordant relationships, where both partners are HIV-positive, can offer emotional and health protective benefits, along with eliminating the risks and anxiety associated with disclosure Relf et al.

Despite the limitations of convenience sampling Marshall,the study captured variation in the sample in terms of place of birth, mode of HIV transmission, and length of time living with HIV, in addition to other common socioeconomic indicators see Table 1.

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