An exploratory study into the potential effects of a diagnosis of HIV on gay men's ideas about themselves, and ideas of forming new sexual relationships with other men

Prof Doc Thesis


Coffey, Caroline 2006. An exploratory study into the potential effects of a diagnosis of HIV on gay men's ideas about themselves, and ideas of forming new sexual relationships with other men. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsCoffey, Caroline
TypeProf Doc Thesis
Abstract

This study examines the potential impact of a diagnosis of HIV on gay men's
ideas about themselves and their experiences of forming new sexual
relationships with other men. Particular focus is given to changes in
participants' thoughts/ feelings about themselves post diagnosis and how
such changes were manifested.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants who all self
identified as gay men and who had received a diagnosis of HIV at least twelve
months previously. A social constructionist Grounded Theory approach was
used to develop a model from the interview transcripts.
Analysis revealed that receiving a diagnosis was constructed as being a 'life
changing event'. Commonly discussed were feelings of loss attributed to
living with the diagnosis, and feelings of self blame regarding circumstances
under which transmission of the virus occurred. The emotion of 'feeling
different to others' was commonly discussed and felt most intensely when
participants were engaged in sexual practices with their HIV negative partner.
Feelings of loss were frequently mentioned as participants compared the
opportunities available to them pre and post diagnosis.
The responses of others to the diagnosis were also discussed as pertinent to
the ideas participants had about themselves and their future. Such
responses, particularly from sexual partners influenced sexual behaviour
prompting them to engage in less sex in order to protect themselves
emotionally from further feelings of rejection. The lack of sex post diagnosis
for some participants was constructed as a relief and a desire to feel
'asexual'.
The findings are discussed with regard to the limited literature, with particular
emphasis on understanding the impact of the diagnosis from a social
constructionist perspective. Recommendations for further research and
various implications for practice are highlighted.

Year2006
Publication dates
PrintJul 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited15 Jul 2014
Additional information

This thesis supplied via ROAR to UEL-registered users is protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights, and duplication of any part of the material is not permitted, except for your personal use for the purposes of non-commercial research and private study in electronic or print form. You must obtain permission from the copyright-holder for any other use. Electronic or print copies may not be offered, for sale or otherwise, to anyone. No quotation from the thesis may be published without proper acknowledgement.

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