HIV Stigma and Daily Life: anonymous online questionnaire

What this survey is about?

Stigma surrounding HIV continues to be a significant issue for people living with HIV, despite improvements in treatment. Some research has been carried out in this area. How stigma affects the daily life of men living with HIV remains a gap in research. This survey will highlight what daily life is like for men living with HIV in Ireland, by examining everyday occupations (defined here as any activity, simple or complex, carried out throughout your day that occupies your time) and how experiences of HIV-related stigma might impact these occupations. Previous research in this area has shown that HIV-stigma affects men and women differently, therefore for this survey will take a focused look on the experiences of men living with HIV. There are questions on both everyday occupations and HIV-stigma to explore whether there is a link between the two. The survey should take about 15 mins to complete. There is no obligation to complete the survey once it is begun and participants can exit the survey at any time.

NB – This is a fully anonymous and confidential survey.

Why should you consider completing the survey?

This survey takes a different perspective to other research completed on this topic; examining a person’s day-to-day life by analysing everyday activities may provide a new perspective on how stigma impacts people living with HIV. This, in turn, might inform future research on how best to support people living with HIV, particularly in relation to HIV-related stigma and how best to combat it. Capturing the voice of people living with HIV is an important aspect of research. This survey provides an opportunity to voice concerns or difficulties with everyday life. There are opportunities throughout the survey to type your thoughts directly into the survey in an open and non-judgmental way. By completing the survey, the participant can help identify any areas in daily life where stigma may be causing problems.

What will the information provided in the survey be used for?

After the results of the of the study have been gathered, a link to a summary of the results will be sent to participants via Erin Nugent of HIV Ireland, which participants are welcome to view if they are interested. Additionally, participants are welcome to communicate anonymously through Erin Nugent of HIV Ireland if they would like to receive the results or ask any questions to the researcher. Her email address is erin.nugent@hivireland.ie Although the information will be initially used in the form of a final year thesis, it is planned that the results will be submitted to an occupational therapy research journal for publication. This will promote the results of the survey and the issue of HIV-related stigma to a new and wider audience, as occupational therapy research on HIV is minimal. This project may act as a ‘starting point’ for more occupational therapy research to be carried out, with a view of improving understanding of how best to support this population.

This is a research project carried out by Eoin Hennessy, as part of his final year project in Occupational Therapy (BSc). If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to talk more about the project, feel free to email him at e.hennessy6@nuigalway.ie.

Relevant links to support services:

If you found the content of this survey upsetting or distressing, please consider availing of the services below:

HIV Ireland: a voluntary, non-profit organization which provides support to individuals living with HIV. Tel: 01-8733799 or info@hivireland.ie.

HSE HIV and Sexual Health Helpline: A free, confidential place where you can talk through your concerns about HIV and sexual health. Phone number – 1800 459 459

Samaritans: Offers support for any issue or when people are in need of help, no matter how large or small. Free-phone – 116 123. Email – jo@samaritans.ie. See www.samaritans.org for more information or to see if there is a branch near you.