Life with HIV in a suburban community: an exploration of experiences pertaining to health and social care service access
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Literature examines HIV within urban or rural contexts; the suburban gradient is not sufficiently described, despite how an overwhelming proportion of Canadians live in this form of community. This inquiry investigated how people living with HIV (PLWH) in a suburban, Ontario, Canada community access health and social care services. Using hermeneutic phenomenology associated with Martin Heidegger, in-depth interviews with PLWH were conducted to understand their experience of accessing care. Thirteen co-participants were interviewed and six metathemes were identified in their experiences: fear of disclosure and stigmatization; personal and unintentional biases about HIV; isolation; transportation, cost, and time: barriers to access; flawed delivery of health care services; and inefficient, antiquated social care service delivery. These findings have implications for community-based, interprofessional health and social care services; how health and social care services are delivered; health care professional training and sensitivity to the diverse needs of PLWH; and ageing with HIV.