People with HIV experience anxiety about discrimination in the workplace and disclosing their disease. Effective coping ability toward HIV-related challenges may be associated with a person’s sense of coherence (SOC). This study describes the range of difficulties HIV-positive individuals experience and their coping strategies, especially in the workplace. The experiences of those with high and low SOC are compared. Data were collected in Japan from 2007 to 2009 using a qualitative approach. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 40 participants with HIV with work experience. Interviews focused on individual’s perspectives, including self-perceptions of physical and mental functioning, work conditions, and perceived changes in their circumstances. Participants were divided into high and low SOC groups based on SOC-13 scores. A number of categories and subcategories of experiences were extracted, including “acute feeling of the severe social positioning of HIV,” with some categories specific to those with low SOC. Those with high SOC appeared to have a unique perspective that supported more successful coping, for example, “Awareness of death is linked to valuing living in the present,” “Do not be discouraged by uncertainties and difficulties,” and so on. It suggests that development of coping skills may help people with HIV.
Part of the book: HIV/AIDS