Scott, Beth

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Over the past 40 years there have been significant advances in medical care for HIV. However, many people living with HIV (PLWH) experience internalized stigma in the form of HIV-related shame. This shame has been found to negatively impact mental health, patient relationships, and adherence to healthcare. This grounded theory DNP scholarly project was aimed at developing a novel theoretical framework and practice to improve quality of life including increased viral load suppression in PLWH. To this aim, a psychoeducation curriculum based on shame resilience theory was implemented with two participants in an inner-city healthcare clinic. While the shame resilience curriculum was found to be effective in this limited project, the effectiveness of this program could not be proved for the population. Through analysis of the themes that emerged from the data, a new construct called Healing Connections Theory was created to inform future projects, policy, and practice.

Keywords: HIV, PLWH, stigma, shame, resilience, psychoeducation