Community Involvement: A coping strategy that contributes to the quality of life of people living with HIV outside the metropolitan area. Jorge Flores-Aranda (1), Joanne Otis (2), Jacques Gélinas (1), Gaston Godin (3), Michel Alary (4), Mario Fréchette (5).
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Jorge Flores-Aranda (1), Joanne Otis (2), Jacques Gélinas (1), Gaston Godin (3), Michel Alary (4), Mario Fréchette (5).
(1) Coalition des organismes communautaires québécois de lutte contre le sida
(2) Canada Research Chair in Health Education,
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM);
(3) Canada Research Chair on Behaviour and Health,
(4) Population Health Research Unit, Hôpital du Saint-Sacrement du CHA
The interrelationship between health behaviour and aspects of the social environment on the reported state of health and the quality of life of people living with HIV (PLWHIV).Background
"Yes …obviously, quality of life means still being able to stand up, literally, to stand up and be able to function" (Man, Quebec City, 0303:0306).
"For me, quality of life, essentially, is to be able to function as before, but with one difference: the disease is present” (Man, Drummondville, 0302:0304).
"For me, quality of life is being able to function normally without restrictions or with limited restrictions" (Woman, Drummondville, 0272:0274).
"For me, quality of life means independence, independence as far as employment is concerned, physically and financially" (Man, Quebec City, 0326:0329).
"For me, quality of life is, first of all, having clean water to drink, food, a roof over my head, heat when it's cold outside. Quality of life is meeting the needs of everyday life." (Man, Quebec City, 0349:0353).
"Quality of life: having things to do, needs…I don't know.”
(Man, Hull, 0230:0231).
"I think it's keeping busy rather than worrying." (Man, Laval, 0354:0355).
"And for me, working is also good for the morale; I find that's a part of quality of life, but so are many other things as well."
(Woman, Quebec City, 0278:0280).
"I think health is a big thing, because if you're not healthy, you can’t do much." (Man, Hull, 0247:0248).
"It's about having as little pain and discomfort as possible." (Man, Rimouski, 0165:0166).
"I'll say one thing: quality of life is not suffering.”
(Man, Chicoutimi, 0269:0270).
"It's feeling good in your own skin, I think."
(Man, Rimouski, 0161:0161).
"It's feeling good about myself and making everyone around me as happy as possible." (Man, Quebec City, 0256:0257).
"Having people around you is important."
(Man, Sherbrooke, 0239:0240).
"If you don't get along with your family, well, you have your friends or you have support groups, but in my case, family comes first." (Man, Hull, 0242:0244).
"To me, it's having love; it's feeling loved and also giving love." (Man, Quebec City, 0353:0354).
"It's being with other people and not feeling singled out because of the situation you're living with." (Man, Rimouski, 0166:0168).
"I think that to have a good quality of life, it's important to be surrounded by people who respect me and who'll try to break down the prejudices associated with HIV." (Man, Sherbrooke, 0291:0294).
"It's about being accepted in society, not being a reject of society, really being an integral part of society, regardless of the differences." (Woman, Hull, 0258:0260).
"On the other hand, it [HIV] has still led me into a quite intense period of reflection over the last two and a half years of my life, and at times, I'm beginning to see the fruits of that." (Man, Quebec City, 0993:0996).
"By now, I've adapted quite well to living with it [HIV]."
(Woman, Rimouski, 0695:0695)
"I try to reason with myself and say: Hey, hold on a second, you have a life to live even if you're sick, so try to live it the best way you can." (Man, Quebec City, 0908:0912).
"HIV has brought me back to my basic values of love, generosity and open-mindedness." (Man, Quebec City, 0390:0393).
"I tell myself it's because of following a personal and spiritual path that I'm still here today; without that, I wouldn't be here." (Woman, Laval, 1926:1928).
"I don't go to church or anything like that, but I talk to him [God] directly, and if I feel like telling him: 'Look, things aren't going well: wake up!,' I'll say it to him." (Man, Hull, 2545:2547).
"I've always done something to live; I've always done a lot of things so as not to get to that point. I've never thought of dying." (Woman, Laval, 0810:0812).
"I told myself, It's not this disease that's going to get me."
(Man, Rimouski, 0916:0917).
"Since becoming HIV positive, I eat healthier food, I'm more careful in my life, I don't buy useless things, and I sleep and eat better. This has had a positive effect." (Man, Quebec City, 2404:2408).
"I don't drink anymore, I don't use drugs anymore; I'm clean, clean. I'm taking control of my life." (Man, Hull, 0793:07995).
"I look at the group and I think: you're strong. I'm beginning to get into it like you, to understand that I'm not garbage, that I'm a human being, and that I have a right to my likes and dislikes too, and to get ahead, all because of you."
(Woman, Drummondville, 1952:1958).
“Now, I've learned to live with HIV and I went to find the resources.”
(Man, Rimouski, 0786:0787).
“I decided to get involved, to do volunteer work. It keeps me going; I don't even think about my problems.” (Man, Sherbrooke, 1139:1142).
“It's by helping others that you get out of your own shit.”
(Man, Quebec City, 3251:3251).
“Well, my morale is good. I do prevention work as a street worker. Things are going very well.” (Man, Longueuil, 0852:0854).
“Knowing that I'll become less physically strong, I went back to school. I've found less strenuous work.” (Man, Laval, 0867:08700).
"I think it’s fantastic to be able to get together and talk. I realize that I don't feel alone." (Man, Chicoutimi, 0593:0595).
"The people who've helped me the most, and the people I've helped the most, are HIV positive like me. We sense each other, we vibrate together on the same wave length; we can hear and understand each other without even talking." (Man, Sherbrooke, 0946:0950).