AIDS, chronic illness, family, HIV, long-term goals, normalization, stigma



  1. Rehm, Roberta S. PhD, RN
  2. Franck, Linda S. PhD, RN, RGN, RSCN


Decreasing morbidity and mortality of HIV/AIDS has created a growing population of parents and children who are long-term survivors. Using symbolic interaction and ethnographic methods, this study explores families' long-term goals and normalization strategies and the relevance of the published attributes of the concept of normalization for families affected by HIV disease. Findings indicate that treatment complexity and the need for stigma management prevent families from defining their lives as normal, but they do deliberately use normalization strategies to achieve the following goals: health maintenance for members with HIV, facilitation of children's school participation, and enhancement of the emotional well-being of all family members.