Exploring Self-Management of Adults Living with HIV on Antiretroviral Therapy in North-West Ethiopia: Qualitative Study

Habtamu Abera Areri, Amy Marshall, Gillian Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


The changing nature of HIV from an acute to chronic illness requires adults living with HIV to self-manage. Self-management enables individuals with HIV to maintain physical health, medication adherence and live with HIV-related conditions. This study aimed to explore self-management experiences of adults living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy in Ethiopia.

A qualitative descriptive study framed by the Individual and Family Self-Management Theory was carried out to explore the self-management experience of adults living with HIV in Northwest Ethiopia. Eleven semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted. The recruitment involved participants who volunteered to be contacted during a preceding quantitative study. The interview data were coded inductively and subject to thematic analysis.

The main themes identified, each with a number of sub-themes, related to perceptions and experience of self-management, barriers and facilitators of self-management. Factors influencing self-management behaviour were inter-connected and particularly influenced by spiritual practices, low levels of income and experiences of stigma and discrimination.

The study highlights barriers to self-management among individuals living with HIV on antiretroviral therapy in a resource-constrained country. Interventions to address modifiable barriers and build on identified facilitators of self-management include working with the broader community to minimise HIV-related stigma and discrimination and engaging with religious leaders to tackle the observed conflict between spiritual practice and effective self-management behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)809-820
Number of pages12
JournalHIV/AIDS - Research and Palliative Care
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • HIV
  • Antiretroviral Therapy
  • North-West Ethiopia


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