Seeking serenity: living with HIV/AIDS in rural Western Canada

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Harrowing, Jean N.
Robinson Vollman, A.
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Rural and Remote Health
The purpose of this naturalistic inquiry was to describe the experience of living with HIV infection in rural Alberta, Canada. Although the urban HIV epidemic has been well researched, the virus continues its spread into more remote populations where there is a need to understand and address its impact. Affected rural residents form a diverse and marginalized group that includes women, Aboriginal peoples, immigrants, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men, yet there are few data available to inform appropriate health and social services and practice. A number of factors, such as stigma, invisibility, isolation, confidentiality, poverty, and risk behaviours, contribute to the rural experience, but have not been clearly explicated in the literature. This study was conducted in order to better understand the perceptions of health in a rural setting, the processes involved in accessing care, the challenges and benefits associated with rural life, and the relationship between personal beliefs and values and the nature of the disease.
HIV/AIDS , HIV/AIDS--Alberta , AIDS disease--Patients--Alberta , HIV positive persons--Alberta , Rural Alberta--Attitudes
Groft, J.N., & Robinson Vollman, A. Seeking serenity: Living with HIV/AIDS in rural western Canada. Rural and Remote Health, 7, art. 677 (online). Available from: