J Med Assoc Thai 2009; 92 (12):59

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Suffering and Hope, the Lived Experiences of Thai HIV Positive Pregnant Women: A Phenomenological Approach
Thiangtham W Mail, Bennett T

Objective: To understand the meaning and interpret descriptions about the lived experiences of Thai pregnant
women with HIV positive and to discover essential themes in the context of Thai socio-economic and health
care service system.

Material and Method:
A phenomenological approach was used. Sixteen HIV positive pregnant women
volunteered to participate from June 2005 to June 2006. Data were collected through unstructured multiple
in-depth individual interviews, observation, field-note, tape recorded and transcribed, and analyzed
thematically.

Results:
Two patterns emerged: first was a pattern of suffering, secondly, was a pattern of hope. Suffering
was caused by fear of condemnation from their spouses, and by fear of disappointing their larger families.
Moreover, the suffering was exacerbated by feelings of uncertainty for the sickness in the future, worry about
the discrimination and stigmatization of their children, self-blaming and a feeling desperation. Within the
pattern of hope, these women hoped for their unborn babies to be healthy and free from HIV infection.
Furthermore, they hoped to live as long as possible in order to care for their children, and they hoped that
someday they would be accepted by the community and be able to live in harmony.

Conclusion:
This study formed 2 patterns of the lived experiences among Thai HIV positive pregnant women.
Interventions through health promotion programs to encourage the development of skills for positive coping
and therapeutic self-care to help them endure suffering and support women’s hopes to live longer for their
children by changing to healthy patterns of behavior.

Keywords:
Suffering and hope, Thai HIV positive pregnancy, Lived experiences

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