Nursing Care of HIV-Positive Women: A Scoping Literature Review on the Emotional Challenges for Women Living with a Chronic Disease

Ben Farid Nielsen, Bente Martinsen


Living with HIV seems to be more stressful for women than men. Women exhibit higher levels of depression, lower levels of well-being and lower quality of life than HIV-infected men do. The aim of the review is to provide a comprehensive gender specific knowledge about the emotional challenges HIV infected women face in their daily lives. Across all articles one theme that emerged was the challenges about the social environment after being diagnosed with HIV. Three identified show what challenges women with HIV are facing in relation to employment, in relation to other people and a fear of stigma. Another theme that emerged was the challenges of different coping mechanisms. There was an evolution in how an HIV diagnosis had affected women´s lives and their ability to cope with their diagnoses. Three identified subthemes show what challenges women with HIV are facing in relation to aiming to improve quality of life after being diagnosed with HIV, a sharp distinction between HIV and AIDS and a religious and spiritually coping. Identifying the emotional challenges women living with HIV face in their daily lives may help nurses obtain a clearer understanding and greater knowledge of how to provide HIV-positive women with effective care that empower and support these women in managing their chronic disease. However to ensure that nurses have the proper tools for effective care for women living with HIV European studies are essentials in relation to what emotional challenges these women are facing in their daily lives.


coping strategies; HIV; nursing care, literature review, stigma, scoping, women

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