Michael Pizzi; Women, HIV Infection, and AIDS: Tapestries of Life, Death, and Empowerment. Am J Occup Ther 1992;46(11):1021-1027. doi: 10.5014/ajot.46.11.1021.
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© 2017 American Occupational Therapy Association
Women, the minority population in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) pandemic, are fast becoming one of the highest subgroups to be injected and affected by the disease. In the United States, most of these women are black or Hispanic, poor and urban dwellers, and addicted to drugs. This paper discusses the physical, psychological, and social manifestations of HIV disease in women, such as diminished activity tolerance, neurologic or cognitive changes, occupational and social role imbalance, and stigma and discrimination, and describes the sociocultural aspects of women’s lives for assessment and treatment of women with HIV. Health promotion, education, and AIDS prevention and wellness programming are emphasized as strategies toward facilitation of self-empowerment for women with HIV disease. These health promotion and wellness strategies include learning of new and adaptation of current roles; learning strategies for self-care that include care for one’s physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and sexual health; and learning and developing action plans toward healthy living and self-empowerment.
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