The role of social support in assisting youth in developed countries cope with their HIV diagnosis has been examined through a vast body of research; yet, there remains a gap in research around the effects of social support among youth living in sub-Saharan African countries including Kenya. This study aimed to examine the role of social support among Kenyan youth living with HIV, specifically with regard to the variations in influences of this social support. We conducted semi-structured focus group discussions with youth (ages 18 to 27) living in the informal urban settlement of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya (n = 53). Data analysis followed a phenomenological inquiry framework, and seven major categories of perceived social support influences were identified: (1) linkage to services, (2) antiretroviral (ARV) adherence, (3) self-acceptance of HIV status, (4) healthy and positive living, (5) understanding of what it means to be living with HIV, (6) HIV status disclosure, and (7) family and occupational strengthening. The findings from this study suggest that Kenyan youth living with HIV can benefit from social support in a multitude of ways and can occur across several socio-ecological levels. Future research should further examine these influences, specifically regarding intervention development across socio-ecological levels.
|Journal||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2019|
- Perceptions of Kenyan youth
- Phenomenological research
- Psychological and social barriers
- Sub-Saharan Africa