HIV diagnosis rituals and identity narratives

AIDS Care. 1997 Apr;9(2):161-79. doi: 10.1080/09540129750125190.


Using the constitutive view of health communication as a framework, this essay explores the construction of HIV diagnoses in narratives about physician/patient interactions. Narrative analysis reveals the life-changing impact of HIV diagnosis and the incongruence of the routine ways in which most diagnoses are handled. It also highlights the importance of HIV-positive communities in the construction of HIV-positive identities. These analyses suggest a review of how all diagnoses are delivered, and a need for further exploration of the role of supportive communities in construction of identity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Self Concept