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Revista Mal Estar e Subjetividade

Print version ISSN 1518-6148


SILVA, Josevânia da  and  SALDANHA, Ana Alayde Werba. Vulnerability and living with HIV/AIDS in people over 50 years old. Rev.Mal-Estar Subj [online]. 2012, vol.12, n.3-4, pp. 817-852. ISSN 1518-6148.

Life with HIV/AIDS for 50-years old patients is caracterized by vicissitudes that bring prejudice and psychological suffering to their sexual-affective life. Additionally, it demands an ongoing effort to keep the treatment. This study analyses the vulnerability and experiences of living with HIV/AIDS in people over 50-years old. Ten individuals - 6 men and 4 women - between 51 and 72 years old - who are seropositive to HIV/AIDS participated in this study. They receive care in a specialized hospital for treating this pathology in the city of João Pessoa, Brazil. Their diagnostic time varied from 1 to 14 years. Bio-demographic and clinic questionnaires were used as instruments, as well as interviews. The questionnaire data were submitted to a descriptive analysis. A Thematic Categorical Analysis was used for the emergent content of the interviews. Nine categories emerged from participants' discourse: Contagion, Diagnostic, Perception of AIDS, AIDS in old age, Coping, Support, Prejudice, Work, and Perspectives. The vulnerability to HIV/AIDS is linked to different types of vulnerabilities prior to diagnostic, mainly when gender aspects and access to symbolic and material resources are considered. Despite the fact that current health care has prolonged the life expectancy of people with HIV+ and improved their sexual life during this period of life, these participants still associate AIDS with death and prejudice experiences, as well as with limitations to experience intimate relationships. On one hand, these results point to specific preventive strategies to this social category. On the other, they demonstrate the ontological dimension of sexuality, especially as a human attribute that is not limited to time and age, but is constituted during the existential trajectory.

Keywords : Vulnerability; Living; HIV/AIDS; Maturity; Old age.

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