Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science

Dissertation Committee

Diane C. Hatton, DNSc, CS, RN, Chair; Mary Ann Hautman, PhD, RN; Daniel D. Pearce, DO


Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome--AIDS, health management, Human Immunodeficiency Virus--HIV, nursing


The purpose of this investigation was to study the experience of individuals who live with and manage HIV infection and AIDS. The context of living with HIV/AIDS, the prevailing conditions, the actions/strategies used, and the consequences of the actions were considered using grounded theory methodology and dimensional analysis. A purposeful sample of 21 individuals HIV positive or diagnosed with AIDS from San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico were interviewed using semi-structured questions. Data were analyzed using open and axial coding, the constant comparative method, and dimensional analysis. The work of living with HIV emerged as the central dimension within the context of the HIV care system. Conditions influencing participants were societal stigma and social support. Taking care of self, which included involvement with HIV-related treatment activities, making changes, being willing to experiment, taking charge of one's health care, and being cautious, were undertaken with the goals of staying healthy--for the cure (San Diego participants) and living better (Tijuana participants). Of particular interest was the use of clinical drug trials by a majority of participants from both groups as either a supplemental or essential source of HIV health care. The findings of this study have implications for nurse clinicians, researchers, and educators working in community and multicultural settings.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons