Title page for ETD etd-04082010-152636

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Blem, Brian Anthony
Email bablem@iburst.co.za
URN etd-04082010-152636
Document Title The experience of disclosure in fathers diagnosed as HIV positive
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M J Visser Supervisor
  • status
  • reseachers
  • disclosure
  • South Africa
  • HIV positive
Date 2009-04-30
Availability unrestricted

The goal of the research was to investigate how fathers diagnosed HIV positive experienced disclosure. Gaining an understanding of the issues that fathers’ face regarding their decision whether or not to disclose their status, as well as to whom they decide to disclose their status, will contribute to an understanding of the complexities of disclosure. This information could then be used to set up strategies to assist fathers in dealing with HIV and issues regarding disclosure.

This research was undertaken from a phenomenological position, using an interpretive framework. Because the research was qualitative in nature, with the primary objective to understand an individual’s personal and subjective experience, the sample size was restricted to four participants. This provided the opportunity to conduct in-depth interviews. The sampling criteria used to identify participants was the following; fathers, living with their ‘families’, who were residents of Diepsloot, diagnosed HIV positive and with a conversational level of English equivalent to Grade 10.

The unique stories of each research participant were systematically presented to illustrate the collection, analysis and synthesis of the data. The phenomenological method of data analysis is ultimately aimed at developing a composite description of the meanings and essences of the fathers’ experiences of disclosure.

The main finding of the research was that disclosure of an HIV positive status appears to be an extremely difficult experience. With disclosure comes both relief and a sense of shame and loss of face, which for some of the fathers interviewed, seems to undermine an already fragmented sense of self. For they, like all men, aspire to earn and enjoy respect - from their partners, children, parents, peers and community. However, all the fathers in this research project had the courage to disclose their HIV positive status to others and directly to the researcher. In so doing, they not only earned the researcher’s respect, but were availing themselves of a unique opportunity to talk about something very personal and significant in their lives. It is hoped that their positive experiences of disclosure will encourage others in South Africa to do the same.

Copyright © 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Blem, BA 2008, The experience of disclosure in fathers diagnosed as HIV positive, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04082010-152636/ >

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