"I'm not going to die from the AIDS": Resilience in aging with HIV disease

Charles A. Emlet, Shakima Tozay, Victoria H. Raveis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose:Adults aging with HIV/AIDS can experience resilience in spite of the deleterious affects of the disease. This study seeks to examine the lived experiences of older adults with HIV/AIDS as it relates to strengths and resilience in dealing with this devastating disease.Design and methods:Semistructured in-depth interviews were conducted with 25 adults, 50 years and older, living with HIV/AIDS. The interview transcripts were analyzed using constant comparative methodology following the tenets of adaptive theory.Results:The majority of informants expressed experiences of resilience and strengths as related to living with HIV/AIDS. Seven major themes emerged from the analysis including self-acceptance, optimism, will to live, generativity, self-management, relational living, and independence.Implications: The research identified the importance of strengths and resilience among older adults living with HIV/AIDS. Further research is needed to explore these phenomena with larger samples. Practitioners should identify and implement methods for assessing resilience among older HIV-infected adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Older Adults
  • Resilience
  • Strengths Perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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