Longing for belonging: adolescents' experiences of living with HIV in different types of families in Swaziland
The main objective of this predominately ethnographic, mixed methods study was twofold: first it was explore adolescents’ access to and utilisation of available HIV services including testing, and antiretroviral treatment as well as adherence to the treatment and retention in HIV care. The second objective was to gain in-depth insight into the experiences of adolescents living with HIV in different family contexts in Swaziland, from the perspective of adolescents themselves. While the experiences of adolescents living with HIV have been researched before, the uniqueness of this study lies in its comparative approach by situating the experiences of adolescents in the different types of families in which they lived. Therefore, the study aimed at understanding and describing how adolescents, as agentive actors, experience and navigate the social and health system environment as they manage HIV related illness and disease respectively. The study is one of three social science studies carried out as part of a public health intervention implemented by the Ministry of Health, in conjunction with local and international NGOs and academic institutions– the MaxART Consortium. The Consortium’s objective was to increase the number of people who access and utilise HIV services in Swaziland. The dissertation is based on two years of fieldwork carried out in two communities in Swaziland: one rural and one urban.
The study is presented in three parts: the first part provides an introduction and background, and the methodological approach. Part two presents the study findings, while the last part presents a discussion and conclusion.