Original Research

A model to facilitate self-management of human immunodeficiency virus in students within a university setting and promoting their mental health

Teolene G. Diedricks, Chris P.H. Myburgh, Marie P. Poggenpoel
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 25 | a1069 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v25i0.1069 | © 2020 Teolene G. Diedricks, Chris P.H. Myburgh, Marie Poggenpoel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 January 2018 | Published: 25 September 2020

About the author(s)

Teolene G. Diedricks, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Chris P.H. Myburgh, Department of Educational Psychology, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Marie P. Poggenpoel, Department of Nursing Sciences, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Background: The introduction of antiretroviral treatment (ART) has resulted in people with HIV living longer. Antiretroviral treatment demands a lifelong commitment from patients not only in terms of adherence to the medication but also in relation to lifestyle changes in general. This poses a challenge to a student living with HIV (SLHIV) who only spends a few years at university before entering the workplace and relocating. It also means that the care, support and treatment received at the university will no longer be available to them as these services are only offered to enrolled students. It is imperative for practitioners at universities to help SLHIV effectively manage their illness.

Aim: The aim of the article is to illustrate the process followed to develop a model that could serve as a frame of reference to facilitate the management of HIV as an integral part of the mental health of SLHIV within a university.

Setting: The model is designed for professional practitioners in university settings who support students living with HIV in managing their illness.

Methods: A theory-generative, qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual study design was utilised. The central concept was derived from the experiences of practitioners and SLHIV by conducting individual interviews using appreciative inquiry. The common themes and categories identified in the interviews served as a basis for the identification of the central concept for the study. The process included the identification, definition and classification of the central concept and essential attributes. The conceptual framework was then described. Measures to ensure trustworthiness were also adhered to in the study and approval for the study was granted (Ethical clearance #2014-071).

Results: The central concept was identified as the ‘facilitation of self-management’. It was defined and classified, and these definitions and classifications were used as the basis for the model. Thereafter, the model was described.

Conclusion: The model can be used as a frame of reference to assist SLHIV in effectively managing their illness.


HIV; mental health; self-management; university; students


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