HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 45 no. 2 (2012)

Becoming and Being HIV-positive: The Subjective Experience of Young Filipino Gay Men Living with HIV

Nico A. Canoy | Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo

Discipline: Psychology



This research examined the lived experiences of young Filipino gay men living with HIV. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was utilized as the lens to explore patterns of meaning-making within a year after HIV diagnosis. Using data from a focus group discussion (FGD), data analysis produceda synthesis of seven individual cases. Following Smith’s (2007) recommendation in using FGDs, a rich and detailed exploration of one case was used as an illustration. Overall results showed superordinate themes centering on young gay men’s (1) experiences of HIV testing and the process of othering in the workplace, (2) experiences of emotional struggles and the process of disclosure in the family, and (3) experiences of coming to terms with their HIV status and the process of reconstructing the self. Theoretical and practical reflections of lived experiences embedded in contexts and across time are discussed. A call for a phenomenologically-guided intervention for HIV is needed towards the sensitive and humane treatment of young gay men living with HIV.