Purpose: Adults aging with HIV/AIDS can experience resilience in spite of the deleterious affects of the disease. This study seeks to examine the lived experiences of older adults with HIV/AIDS as it relates to strengths and resilience in dealing with this devastating disease.
Design and methods: Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 adults, 50 years and older, living with HIV/AIDS. The interview transcripts were analyzed using constant comparative methodology following the tenets of adaptive theory.
Results: The majority of informants expressed experiences of resilience and strengths as related to living with HIV/AIDS. Seven major themes emerged from the analysis including self-acceptance, optimism, will to live, generativity, self-management, relational living, and independence.
Implications: The research identified the importance of strengths and resilience among older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Further research is needed to explore these phenomena with larger samples. Practitioners should identify and implement methods for assessing resilience among older HIV-infected adults.