Stigma and women living with HIV: A co-operative inquiry
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1385
This thesis explores the impact of stigma on women in New Zealand living with HIV through the use of co-operative inquiry, an innovative, participatory, action-based and somewhat revolutionary, research method. Through the process of sharing experiences, reflection and discussion, participants were encouraged to learn to interpret meaning and gain a better understanding of their world. As a result of working through an agreed set of actions this process lead to personal transformations and consciousness-raising for all those who took part, including myself. The innovative method of co-operative inquiry is about discovery and learning. It is not about confirming or validating previous theories or hypothesis. All participants, including the researcher, were women living with HIV, who worked together as co-participants in a research project which was done 'with' rather than 'about' those who took part and was based on feminist grounded theory. Key findings are significant not only for participants of this research but also for future governmental and community interventions and policies in regards to HIV awareness and education in New Zealand. Increasing awareness and education will reduce the transmission of HIV and will assist with destigmatising HIV, an empowering process for people living with or affected by HIV or AIDS.