Perspectives on AIDS -related issues in central China and Beijing: A mixed methods study
UNAIDS estimates more than one million people have contracted the HIV virus through unsanitary procedures while selling blood in central China. People in 17 provinces have been infected by AIDS by receiving tainted blood during transfusions. Little research has been conducted to study this unique phenomenon. The purpose of this study is to investigate the needs, explore the experiences, and present the voices of AIDS-infected and AIDS-affected individuals and their families who contracted AIDS while selling or receiving blood, and to measure knowledge and attitudes about AIDS among Beijing residents. Data were collected over 30 months from 445 Beijing residents. Longitudinal interviews were conducted with 60 AIDS-infected and AIDS-affected individuals from Beijing and Henan Province. Analysis reveals the needs of AIDS-infected individuals, including short-term needs (e.g., AIDS preventive information, free HIV testing, medical assistance, and medicine), long-term needs (e.g., helping their children to break away from this vicious circle of poverty, illiteracy, and low social status in central China), and the lived experiences of children orphaned by AIDS. Analysis also discovered the factors that make families resilient while dealing with AIDS in their family: reaching out for help, find meaning in life, and being of service to others. In every case, AIDS caused a disruption in normal operations—adults lost or quit their jobs and children quit school to become care-givers and bread-winners to their families. In this we see the emergence of the basic need to survive and the critical need to receive swift and appropriate interventions. Even more than basic survival needs, however, education was identified as the most-sought-after need—education to escape from the vicious circle, for a better future, or to stop the spread of AIDS. Education is one of the critical values inherent in Confucianism, which serves as the foundation of Chinese civilization. This study demonstrates the deep-seated influence of culture on a population challenged at the core of its existence.
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome--AIDS;
0628: Personal relationships
0573: Public health