Kenyan Women Living with HIV/AIDS: A Mixed Method Study
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Purpose: Kenya, among the 47 African countries south of the Sahara geographically referred to as Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the region worst affected by HIV/AIDS globally. Kenyan women are disproportionally affected by HIV/AIDS compared to their male counterparts, where among the 1.5 to 2 million Kenyan adults infected with HIV, about two-thirds are women (UNAIDS, 2009). This presentation will illustrate the methodological design for the conduct of sequential mixed method study in both rural and urban settings in Kenya. The study goal was to measure their social structural stigma perspectives and to also gain an understanding of their experiences in rural and urban setting. Methods: A Socio-demographic Survey, and HIV/AIDS Stigma Instrument for data collection. Data analysis using descriptive Statistics, T-test and correlations were used to answer the quantitative questions: 1) What are the characteristics of the Kenyan women living with HIV/AIDS? 2) What are the women perceptions of stigma and the differences of stigma perceptions between the rural and the urban settings? 3) Are there correlations between the women characteristics and their stigma perceptions? A purposive sampling using unstructured interactive interviews and interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to answer the qualitative question:- What are the experiences of Kenyan women living with HIV/AIDS? A mixed question: How do the experiences of the women compare to their scores on STIGMA Scale was answered by correlating the quantitative and the qualitative findings. Results: Significant findings of Kenyan women(n=200) stigma perceptions were identified. Key themes were identified from 27 participants showing their personal and social cultural experiences of living with HIV/AIDS. Conclusion: The findings demonstrated that rural women experience significantly high stigma than urban women. Combining surveys and interviews contributed to much richer data in better understanding stigma perceptions of the Kenyan women. Future recommendations in relationship to research findings will also be discussed.