We Are Wellness: A Qualitative Evaluation of ART Adherence Patterns and Collective Empowerment Among People Living With HIV

Wang, Emily [Browse]
Senior thesis
94 pages


Frye, Margaret [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
This project is a two-fold qualitative study of antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence patterns and collective empowerment among people living with HIV. Seventeen in-depth interviews were done at a North Jersey HIV clinic in an aim to understand personal experiences with ART. I also conducted participant observation field work at an HIV clinic located in central Jersey in order to understand collective identity, agency, and modes of empowerment in a weekly men’s support group. The most significant results from the in-depth interviews suggest that durable sources of support are critical in aiding a client’s desire and success in adhering to daily antiretroviral pills. Additionally, the ability for ART to blend in seamlessly with a client’s daily schedule is a critical actor in moderating the client’s relationship with his or her pills. Findings from participant observation field work suggest that group-work can be a consistent and reliable mechanism for fostering seeds of critical consciousness among individuals and thus, inspiring members to become agents of social change.

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