Just Talking About It Opens Your Heart: Meaning-making by Black African Migrants and Refugees Living with HIV

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

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Meaning-making has emerged as a core construct in addressing trauma, loss or crisis. This paper considers how diasporic Black Africans living with HIV, who come from interdependent collectivist cultures where the norm is one of implicit support, extend their meaning-making strategies when faced with a diagnosis of HIV. In this qualitative study, 13 Black African migrants and refugees living with HIV in New Zealand were interviewed and the transcripts analysed. After their diagnosis, participants began a journey of reconceptualising situational and global meaning. They extended their meaning-making strategies to include a community of like others to gain explicit support. Caregivers in host countries must understand the meaning-making processes of HIV-positive Black African migrants in order to provide competent services that lead to good social and health outcomes. All healthcare and social services workers should regularly assess Black African migrants and refugees living with HIV for positive social connectedness as well as medication adherence and more specific health concerns. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


PMID: 23651201