UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Experiences of women diagnosed with HIV in the Downtown Eastside Bright, Vicki Joy


This paper examines experiences of five women diagnosed with HIV in the Downtown Eastside. Women living with HIV in this community experience multiple intersecting oppressions based on gender, class and ethnicity as well as stigma related to their HIV status and association with marginalized groups such as drug users and sex workers. Using narrative methodology this paper explores several areas relating to women diagnosed with HIV including themes of “life is over”, “stigma management”, “disconnecting from self and others”, “reconnecting with support systems” and “giving and sharing experiences”. The findings suggest that while women living with HIV in the Downtown Eastside face multiple barriers particularly when first diagnosed they are also able to engage with health and social supports and contribute to the lives of others and their community in a meaningful way.

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