Management of HIV by Sport Activities. In a French survey, the Case of “Tough Persons”


In this French national research, we directly asked PLHIV (People Living with HIV) about the impact of HIV on their lives in general, and on their physical activity in particular. We first collected the replies to a questionnaire administered to 619 people. The execution time varied from 25 minutes to 2h30 depending on the individuals, their characteristics, and especially the practice (or not) of a physical activity. Second, they interviewed 50 individuals regarding their sports and life stories for a duration of 1h to 2h30 (all interviews were fully recorded and transcribed).
The multivariate analysis identified three profiles of PLHIV, which not only corresponded to different ways of dealing with their serological status, but also to differences in resources available to deal with it. The first type (19%) is referred to as “the precarious invisible.” It concerns people recently diagnosed who try to keep their serologic status secret, including to their relatives. These people have financial difficulties not necessarily due to HIV, but that nevertheless aggravate their situation. In general, they have no job and a low income. The second type (38%) almost exclusively concerns men, mostly gays, with a high socioeconomic status, and usually diagnosed after the introduction of tritherapies. The last type identified (43%), concerns individuals who more widely communicated their seropositivity: they are referred to as “the vulnerable visible.” Such a display of their status is related to their personal experience with a body transformation for which they felt very negatively about, especially because of their deficiencies.

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