Ganna Rozhnova, Principal Investigator at BioPhysics and Nanosystems Group, BioISI – University Medical Center Utrecht, studied the perceived influence of HIV on the quality of life of people with HIV and people vulnerable to HIV. If you want to know more on the reported positive aspects in living with HIV, reported in a paper published in [Nature -] Scientific Reports, read the BioISI Digest below.
What was the starting point that led to the current research?
We wanted to understand the experienced influence of HIV on the quality of life of people with HIV and key populations who don’t have but are vulnerable to HIV. Key populations are, for example, men who have sex with men. Usually people with HIV and key populations report negative predominant experiences regarding HIV because of social stigmatization, challenges with regards to disclosing HIV and negative effects of lifelong treatment. We focused on whether there is anything positive in living with HIV.
What is the main finding reported in this paper?
People with HIV and key populations report having many positive meaningful experiences regarding HIV. These experiences are feeling grateful for treatment, life, and the availability of HIV prevention measures. They also feel being loved and supported in the light of HIV, and are grateful that they can provide support to the community.
If you had to explain the main finding to a 5-year-old child, how would you do it?
Having HIV is usually perceived as really bad. However, people with HIV also report positive experiences regarding HIV. They become part of the community where they are loved and supported in the light of HIV, and they can provide support back to the community. People with HIV find this really important in their lives.
Why is it important for the scientific community and for society at large?
It remains important to support HIV community organizations in their efforts to help people with HIV, reduce social stigmatization and to continue improving biomedical interventions for HIV.
What are the next steps?
As a next step, we would like to explore how different cure scenarios for HIV could help to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
Find out more about the Biophys-Nano group here
More about Gana’s research here.
Read the full paper here.
Ganna Rozhnova [image provided by the researcher]