SURVIVING SURVIVAL: A THEORY OF LIVING WITH THE THREAT OF AIDS (IMMUNE DEFICIENCY).
AuthorDUFFY, PAM REID.
KeywordsAIDS (Disease) -- Psychological aspects.
AIDS (Disease) -- Prevention -- Psychological aspects.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to generate a grounded theory explaining the social and psychological processes employed by gay men in living with the threat of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). As members of the high risk group for AIDS, gay men are living with a prolonged threat of unprecedented complexity which has unknown demands on health. An exhaustive preliminary literature review revealed a dearth of theoretical or empirical data addressing this problem. Theory discovery was accomplished using the grounded theory methodology. Two major data collection procedures were utilized: The conduct of increasingly structured interviews of healthy gay men, and an ongoing, progressive literature and media search. Data were sampled theoretically, as guided by the emergent theory. The constant comparative method of analytic induction was used for the analysis of data, in order to identify the elements and structure of the theory. Multiple procedures were incorporated into the analysis to ensure its trackability and credibility. A basic social process, Surviving Survival, was identified as the core category of the theory. Surviving Survival is the continuous process used by gay men to ensure mortal survival as well as outlive the extremity of the AIDS threat. The process is comprised of three subcategories: Vigilance, Safeguarding, and Balancing. The subcategory of Vigilance explains the work of monitoring the threat of AIDS and has both personal and social components. Safeguarding explains the behavior of protecting self and others from the AIDS threat, including AIDS' eventuality. The subcategory of Safeguarding contains Safer Sex, Reassuring Others, and Forecasting. The subcategory of Balancing explains efforts to conserve energy required to sustain affirmation of life and living in spite of the AIDS threat. In continuous interaction, the subcategories of Surviving Survival are interwoven into multiple aspects of gay living. This theory explains the profound impact AIDS has on the mental health of gay men, who both survive and perceive the extremity of the AIDS threat on a daily basis. These findings provide a knowledge base for the nursing discipline in becoming an informed and informing resource for the men who are outliving the threat of AIDS.