“Journey of Uncertainties:” Nature of Transitioning among Persons Living with Undetectable HIV

  • Rudolf Cymorr Kirby Martinez San Beda University, Manila, Philippines



Introduction: The management of persons living with HIV gears towards making that person “seronegative,” undetectable in screening and practically with almost no risk of transmitting the disease. Although the trajectory of this management is clear, the process by which the person living with HIV transition from being seropositive to seronegative remains to be explored. There remains to be a paucity of research on the nature of transitioning among seronegative persons living with HIV especially from the lens of an Asian nation.

Methodology: This study explored the nature of transitioning among nine (9) seronegative persons living with HIV. Grounded on the Rogerian Science of Unitary Human Being as its philosophical underpinning and Gadamerian interpretative phenomenology as its approach, nine (9) informants were selected with the following criteria: They are 1) Persons living with HIV for at least 2 years; 2) Seronegative for at least a year during the time of the interview, and 3) Willing to articulate and share their experiences. After obtaining approval from the University Research Ethics Board, multiple in-depth interviews, story-telling sessions, and photo-elicitation were utilized to gather the informants' narratives.

Findings: After a series of reflective analyses, the following nature of transitioning was identified: (1) transitioning as a conscious deliberate choice, (2) transitioning as an unpredictable struggle of being, and (3) transitioning as seeking a personal sense of normalcy. These transition patterns reflect the moment to moment deliberate choice of existence by the informants. The transition moments are appreciated thru the lens of unpredictability and internal struggles as they try to create a sense of normalcy amidst their transitioning situations.

Implications: Insights from this study suggest that though the process of transitioning among informants seems varied, the core patterns of deliberateness, unpredictability, and sense of normalcy cut across their stories. Persistent support from peers and family sustained counseling from diagnosis to being seronegative and health teaching focusing on risky behavior while transitioning are implied techniques to provide support during their transitioning process. The sense of immediacy and genuine presence from health care providers caring for these persons seems to be appreciated as a supportive mechanism of their transitioning journey.


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How to Cite
Martinez, R. C. K. (2020). “Journey of Uncertainties:” Nature of Transitioning among Persons Living with Undetectable HIV. Journal of Health and Caring Sciences, 2(1), 19-33. https://doi.org/10.37719/jhcs.2020.v2i1.oa002