Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123
ALENCAR, Tatianna Meireles Dantas de; NEMES, Maria Ines Battistella and VELLOSO, Marco Aurélio. From "acute AIDS" to "chronic AIDS": body perception and surgical interventions in people living with HIV and AIDS. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2008, vol.13, n.6, pp.1841-1849. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232008000600019.
The Brazilian government has been providing free and universal access to the HAART therapy for people living with HIV and AIDS for ten years. Since then, many epidemiological characteristics have changed, and AIDS passed scientifically and medically to be classified as a chronic condition. This qualitative study aims to comprehend the challenges posed by self-perception of body changes experienced by people living with AIDS during recent years, as a result of prolonged use of antiretroviral medication.With this purpose, in 1999 and 2005, 32 semi-structured interviews with HIV positive individuals were held in the State of Sao Paulo to capture the challenges occurred during this period, in particular with regard to the lipodystrophy syndrome. The analysis of the data indicates that even with the availability and use of new technologies that allowed for AIDS to transform into a chronic, clinically treatable disease, there are still important aspects lived by patients that reedit fears and difficulties similar to those of the initial periods of the epidemic, among others appearance-impairing physical stigma.
Keywords : AIDS; Body perception; Chronic disease; People living with HIV; Anti-retroviral medication; Lipodystrophy.