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Life on antiretroviral therapy: People's adaptive coping and adjustment to living with HIV as a chronic condition in Wakiso District, Uganda.

 DEV Key contactSteve Russell
Project Dates:  November 2010 – July 2013
Project Status: Closed October 2013


This ESRC-funded research project analyses people's self-management of HIV following access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy (ART), and their quality of life. The study aims to understand how people have responded to a new chance at life, what factors enable people to adjust to living with HIV as a chronic condition, and what support measures affect this adjustment.  The role of health workers and counselling for people's adaptation and self-management is being examined. The study aims to inform ART delivery policy and practice in resource-constrained settings.

Adjustment to a new life on ART poses medical, social and economic challenges, especially in settings of poverty. People must take treatment for the rest of their lives, they may need to rebuild livelihoods and relationships, and they must make decisions about disclosing their status.
Three ART delivery sites with different modes of delivery and support will be compared.  The study uses complementary qualitative and quantitative methods, analysing in detail processes of adaptation and self-management among a small sample of people, and also comparing quality of life and mental health outcomes among a larger sample.


RUSSELL S, Namukwaya S, Zalwango F, Seeley J. (accepted 2015) The framing and fashioning of therapeutic citizenship among people living with HIV taking antiretroviral therapy in Uganda. Qualitative Health Research.

RUSSELL S, Zalwango F, Namukwaya S, Katongole J, Muhumuza R, Nalugya R, Seeley J. (revised and resubmitted 2015) Antiretroviral therapy and changing patterns of stigmatisation in Entebbe, Uganda.  Sociology of Health and Illness.

Martin F, RUSSELL S, Seeley J (2014) Higher Quality of Life and Lower Depression for People on ART in Uganda as Compared to a Community Control Group. PLoS ONE 9(8): e105154. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105154

Martin F, RUSSELL S, Seeley J. (2014) Adjustment as process and outcome: Measuring adjustment to HIV in Uganda. Journal of Health Psychology, 1-12, published online 16 July 2014, DOI: 10.1177/1359105314541313