PSYCHOSOCIAL REACTIONS OF PEOPLE WITH HIV/AIDS AND THEIR COPING STRATEGIES: AN IN-DEPTH CASE STUDY
 
Deb, S., University of Calcutta, India
 
Research Questions: (i) What are the psychosocial reactions of an HIV positive patient? (ii) What are the coping strategies adopted by a person with HIV positive to cope with psychological stress? and (iii) What are the perceptions of an HIV positive patient about care and support services available for them? The objective of the case study was threefold. Firstly, to understand the psychosocial reactions of a person with HIV positive. Secondly, to understand the coping strategies adopted to over come psychological stress. Finally, to understand the perception of HIV positive patient about care and support services available for them. Study Design: Case Study. For developing the case study information were collected from an HIV positive patient in Kolkata following series of transactions and they were processed logically to achieve the objectives of the study. Findings revealed that excessive physical signs and symptoms like prolonged fever and diarrhoea and skin rash compelled the subject to undergo for blood testing, which finally detected him to be a patient of HIV positive. Initially, the subject was shocked hearing the testing result, followed by withdrawal from daily normal social interactions and severe depression. Afterwards he encountered several problems in social and personal life like lose in business, rejected by his beloved and too much dependence on substance and this phase continued for a period of one year. In order to overcome the stress and strain he underwent some spiritual books, which ultimately helped him to be mentally stable, to over come depression, and to think positively about life. Further mental support from the family members especially from sibling helped him to cope with the over all crises situation. For care and treatment he visited doctor regularly and taken Anti-retroviral Therapy. He also underwent periodic counseling in a welfare organization. Being dissatisfied with the services (on account of careless attitude of health care professionals and lack of confidentiality) received from an NGO he formed a Self-help Group mobilizing a group of HIV positive people in kolkata. The objective of Self-help Group is to ensure minimum treatment and support services for HIV positive patients and look after human rights issues. He needs periodic counseling to get away from drugs, which he has been taking for a long period and to be farm in his future mission. Key words: Psychosocial Reactions, Stress, Coping Strategy