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health literacy, HIV/AIDS, normalization, stigma



  1. Mallinson, R. Kevin PhD, RN, AACRN
  2. Relf, Michael V. PhD, APRN, BC, AACRN, CCRN
  3. Dekker, Debra PhD
  4. Dolan, Kathy BS
  5. Darcy, Ashley
  6. Ford, Anna BS


Despite advances in the medical treatment of HIV disease, marginalized populations continue to shoulder a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. This study explored the process by which clients at HIV-oriented primary care clinics transition from being sporadic users of care to engaging as regular users of care. A model illustrating how participants were striving to maintain normalcy, manage perceptions, and develop life mastery skills contributes to an understanding of living with HIV disease in a social context. Elements of the model are sensitive to nursing interventions aimed at improving health outcomes and reducing health disparities among persons at highest risk.