An exploration of socioeconomic, spiritual, and family support among HIV-positive women in India

J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2004 May-Jun;15(3):37-46. doi: 10.1177/1055329003261967.


Through in-depth, tape-recorded interviews, this qualitative pilot study explored the feelings and concerns of 10 HIV-positive women, aged 18 to 70 years, and the socioeconomic, spiritual, and family support available to them in Kolkata, India. A qualitative approach of continuous comparative analysis of themes revealed that although heterosexual contact was the main source of infection, poverty and sexual violence were indirect social factors. These women experienced markedly less socioeconomic, spiritual, and family support after contracting the disease. In addition to worsening physical symptoms, emotional and mental anguish forced them into isolation, negatively affecting their mental health. Social isolation infiltrated their spiritual lives, producing feelings of helplessness about the future of their children. The identification of this process is important to nursing practice, as it highlights key areas of concern in the implementation of prevention programs and future research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity / epidemiology
  • HIV Seropositivity / psychology*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Pilot Projects
  • Poverty / psychology*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Social Isolation
  • Social Support*
  • Spirituality*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / psychology*
  • Women's Health