Access Barriers to Health Services Perceived by People Living With HIV and Their Families

  •  Lemy Bran-Piedrahita    
  •  Sergio Gómez-Molina    
  •  Alejandro Valencia-Arias    
  •  Rosa Vélez-Holguín    
  •  Lucía Palacios-Moya    
  •  Yesenia Acevedo-Correa    
  •  Claudia Arias-Arciniegas    


INTRODUCCTION: The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that destroys the body's T cells. Its advanced stage is the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), since its onset, it has been extensively studied because of an associated burden of morbidity and also to understand the access barriers to diagnostic tests and the required treatment. Objective: To understand the barriers to access health services as perceived by adults living with HIV and their families in the city of Medellín (Colombia).

METHODOLOGY: A qualitative investigation by using historical-hermeneutical approach was carried out, involving 23 participants (seropositive patients and their relatives). The information was collected through semi-structured interviews, later codified and analyzed based on Strauss and Corbin's Grounded Theory.

RESULTS: In this study, the access barriers to health services as perceived by adults living with HIV and their families are represented in administrative constraints, affecting economic and interpersonal relationships as well as social nature that materialize the impact of the social stigmas created around the virus on the mental health of seropositive person and their closest affective environment.

CONCLUSION: The stigma surrounding HIV leads seropositive people and their families to perceive it as a barrier to accessing cultural services, which demands greater intervention efforts by health authorities than other types of barriers in health systems.

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