You can spend your life dying or you can spend your life living : identity transition in people who are HIV-positive

Tsarenko, Yelena and Polonsky, Michael Jay 2011, You can spend your life dying or you can spend your life living : identity transition in people who are HIV-positive, Psychology & health, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 465-483.

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Title You can spend your life dying or you can spend your life living : identity transition in people who are HIV-positive
Author(s) Tsarenko, Yelena
Polonsky, Michael Jay
Journal name Psychology & health
Volume number 26
Issue number 4
Start page 465
End page 483
Total pages 19
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Oxon, England
Publication date 2011
ISSN 0887-0446
1476-8321
Keyword(s) identity transition
ownership
HIV
Summary This article examines, through the lenses of HIV-positive people, the unique phenomenon of identity transition. This research proposes that life-changing illnesses, such as HIV, are an undesired 'possession' that people accept to varying degrees, which we refer to as 'ownership'. While illnesses, such as HIV compel individuals to undergo a transformation process that usually begins with a deep feeling of detachment, and then proceeds to acceptance of their illness, and to feeling empowered and in control of their HIV status and lives, this process is very complex and non-linear as it involves many iterative progressions in identity transition. These transitions are highly individualistic; however, the underlying theme is that the more positive trajectories were those of people who focus on their new lives, living with HIV (i.e. taking ownership of their illness), rather than focusing on what they have lost when they became HIV-positive. The findings demonstrate that identity transition is a result of the ways that individuals rework, negotiate and transform their roles, actions and behaviours through their active engagement with support mechanisms. This study suggests that it is vital to promote positive interactions with support mechanisms to ensure that those with HIV view themselves positively.
Notes First published online: 12 Oct 2010
Language eng
Field of Research 150599 Marketing not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 910403 Marketing
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2010
Copyright notice ©2010, Taylor & Francis
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30031273

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