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Moving Beyond Biomedical Understanding of Lipodystrophy in People Living With HIV/AIDS

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The purpose of this article is to move beyond the biomedical standpoint in the field of HIV/AIDS in order to contribute to the recognition of lipodystrophy as a phenomenon that reaches far beyond its current definition as an unfortunate side effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). This article hopes to demonstrate how theory, while remote to the clinical setting, can allow nurses to understand the experience of lipodystrophy as a social phenomenon and address it likewise in their practice. The specific aim of this article is to apply the concept of stigma to the experience of lipodystrophy in people living with HIV/AIDS. The objective of this theoretical piece is to fill the gaps in the way nurses address lipodystrophy in the clinical setting and to demonstrate the richness of Goffman's concept of stigma (1963) in understanding the experience of lipodystrophy.
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Keywords: AIDS; ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY; HAART; HIV; LIPODYSTROPHY; STIGMA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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