The ‘Living with ART’ study was conducted with 10 men and 10 women who had been on ART for more than one year and aimed at documenting people’s everyday life experiences over the time they were accessing ART to understand more about adjusting to life with HIV as a chronic condition. Working with a government hospital provided the advantage that participants could be traced even after they were transferred to a health centre where they could access ART closer to their homes. All the twenty participants were followed up once a month for a period of eight months and 12 (mainly females) completed all the scheduled visits. Due to the nature of their work, only three male participants completed the eight visits but each participant was visited at least five times.
A combination of qualitative methods were used e.g. in-depth interviews, life history calendars and observation to gain insights into the participants’ background and provide an in depth understanding of how PLHIV manage ART over a long period of time, and what the consequences of accessing ART are in relation to their personal experiences, relationships, social networks, livelihood, etc. The knowledge generated increases our understanding of the social factors that affect patient management of HIV as a chronic illness, and therefore the social contexts and processes that can undermine or support the success of ART delivery programs.
Kawuma, R.; Kiwanuka, T.; Zalwango, F. Living with antiretroviral therapy: A qualitative study of the lives of people living withHIV who have been taking antiretroviral therapy for more than one year in Wakiso District, Uganda. Evidence For Action Case Study No. 10 (2011), 2pp