This paper examines how visual narratives may bridge relational understandings between people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH/A) and future oral health care providers. Borrowing from literature in participatory visual methods such as photo elicitation and photovoice, we explored how PLWH/A visually choose to represent their daily lives. This study uses a grounded theory action-oriented approach in examining the thematic analysis of 257 photos and 12 related reflective participant journals. Ten collaborative themes emerged from the participants' analysis of their photos. These themes of social support, places, family, staff, group, recovery tools, transportation, friends, medications and food exhibited the indivisible characteristics of stressors and supports commonly found in accessing care. Further researcher reflections also found three meta-themes of stigmatization, maintenance of positive mental health and the development of pride in managing one's health. PLWH/A need to share these visual themes of supports and stressors with future dental providers so that they may hopefully acquire an understanding of chronic illness that is more personalized and relationship centered rather than merely numeric and detached.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health