Revista Española de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1135-5727
CONDE GUTIERREZ DEL ALAMO, Fernando; SANTORO DOMINGO, Pablo and SEISIDA. Grupo de Asesores en Adherencia al Tratamiento Antirretrovírico. Typology, values and preferences of people with HIV and imaginaries of infection: a qualitative research. Spain, 2010. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.86, n.2, pp.139-152. ISSN 1135-5727. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57272012000200003.
Background: Therapeutic advance achieved over the last fifteen years in addressing HIV and AIDS correlate with changes in the subjective experiences of persons with HIV and in the sociocultural imaginary of HIV infection. This paper reports findings on two areas: the current typology of HIV patients in the Spanish case and the evolution of the perception of HIV among PLWHA. Methods: Qualitative study in eight Spanish cities (October 2010-March 2011). We conducted 9 focus groups and 30 in-depth interviews with PLWHA of different ages and length of treatment, all of them under medical care. Interviews and focus group were transcribed and narrative and discursive data were subjected to sociological analysis. Results: We suggest a classification of 7 different collectives of persons with HIV in the Spanish context, which reflect different historical periods in the epidemiology of the infection as well as the evolution of treatments and of the experiences of those infected. In recent times there have been significant changes in the social system of images associated with HIV, which point to an increasingly debilitated image of chronicity and to a decline in the perception of its danger to health. Conclusions: But this new imaginary does not distribute equally among all persons with HIV. On the contrary, there is a certain polarization of images, essentially between the two sub-groups most epidemiologically relevant among newly diagnosed HIV patients in Spain: younger men who have sex with men (<30-35 years) and immigrants.
Keywords : HIV; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Delayed diagnosis; Epidemiology.