Date of Conferral


Date of Award





Counselor Education and Supervision


Corrine Bridges


HIV/AIDS is the most stigmatized health condition globally, yet there are limited studies that have examined the needs of rural Ugandans diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. At a time when Ugandan voices could assist in the development and implementation of prevention and intervention strategies to reduce the spread of the virus, these voices remain unheard and silenced. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe the lived experiences of HIV-positive men and women in rural Uganda. A transcendental phenomenological approach provided the framework and design. This research used eight participants who were attending an AIDS health care center in Uganda. In-depth semi structured interviews provided the data for the study; data analysis was consistent with Giorgi’s systematic process of reduction. Three major themes emerged from the data: (a) existential threat post HIV/AIDS, (b) resources relative to HIV/AIDS diagnosis, and (c) support from families and friends post HIV diagnosis. The results of this study confirm a need for greater attention and increased mental health support to people living with HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda. The results of this study may help inform training strategies and support services in counselor education programs. This study provided empirical evidence that can be used to advocate for better training of counselors to provide effective services for people living with HIV/AIDS in rural Uganda.