Older People and HIV Infection: An Experience of "Ageing Badly" Within the City of Abidjan (Côte D'Ivoire)

Ahou Clémentine Say TANOH


In Côte d'Ivoire, active ageing remains a worrying and topical subject which requires cross-sectional studies. The present study is a contribution to this reflection with a particular focus on the "ageing problem" in relation to HIV infection. In a qualitative approach, individual semi-directive interviews were conducted with 23 people aged between 60 and 67 years, including 17 women and 6 men infected with HIV. They are members of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) that provides assistance to people living with HIV (PLHIV). These respondents were selected for the study on a voluntary basis, based on availability and defined criteria. The interviews took place at the headquarters of this NGO over a discontinuous period from 26 April to 13 June 2021. The thematic analysis of the content of the speeches brought out the social representations of HIV/AIDS and of "ageing badly" among the respondents. The latter represent HIV/AIDS as "the disease of people with a bad lifestyle. They would have contracted it through a "spell" that would have been cast on them. They perceive being HIV-positive in old age and chronic geriatric illnesses as an expression of 'bad age'. Unprotected sex with multiple partners, infidelity within the couple and, indirectly, the use of aphrodisiacs are the risk factors that exposed them to the virus. HIV combined with underlying chronic illnesses has contributed to their fragility, social vulnerability and dependence. As they are victims of social rejection and stigmatization by their respective family members, the inclusion of older people living with HIV (PLWHA) in HIV/AIDS programs is essential. Similarly, sexuality education for older people is useful. It is therefore more than urgent to organize public solidarity around PLWHA in Côte d'Ivoire.

Keywords: Older people, HIV, "Ageing badly", Côte d'Ivoire.

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/11-22-06

Publication date: November 30th 2021

Full Text: PDF
Download the IISTE publication guideline!

To list your conference here. Please contact the administrator of this platform.

Paper submission email: RHSS@iiste.org

ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

Please add our address "contact@iiste.org" into your email contact list.

This journal follows ISO 9001 management standard and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Copyright © www.iiste.org