Promoting Health and Healthy Behavior among People Affected by HIV in Manila, Philippines: An Evaluation of the Yoga for Life Program Open Access

Jones, Amanda Maud (2012)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/3n203z793?locale=en
Published

Abstract

Background: The Philippines is experiencing a rapid increase in HIV incidence, demanding additional HIV services from a government with limited resources. Civil society responses attempt to fill this service gap, provide programs for most at risk groups, and confront stigma and discrimination. Yoga for Life (YFL) is the first community-based yoga program focused on people living with HIV (PLHIV) and others affected by HIV in Manila, Philippines. YFL promotes yoga, meditation, and breathing as effective complementary therapies for PLHIV while supporting standard biomedical treatment. The program encourages positive prevention, healthy behaviors, stigma reduction, and HIV advocacy in a supportive community comprised of PLHIV and people at risk for and affected by HIV.

Methods: I conducted an evaluation of Yoga for Life to assess the effect of the program on participants' physical and mental health, risk behaviors, and overall wellbeing. Data collection methods included in-depth interviews, questionnaires, participant observation, and key informant interviews. The study population consisted of HIV positive and negative YFL members, YFL instructors, and local HIV specialists.

Results: Analysis of narrative data revealed the significance of sexuality in relation to identity formation, self-acceptance, social systems, and relationship to family. Participants linked sexual identity and behavior to HIV risk, exposure, and infection. They identified needs of people affected by HIV including education, linkage to care, stigma reduction, and social support. Due to their involvement with YFL, participants report feeling happier, healthier, more socially engaged, and better equipped to confront life's challenges. HIV negative participants report a heightened awareness of and sensitivity toward issues related to HIV.

Conclusions: Findings from this study depict some of the challenges and unmet needs of Filipino MSM and PLHIV, contributing qualitative data to under-researched topics. The study highlights the impact of holistic psychosocial interventions like YFL that provide individual and community level support. The study also offers evidence of the effectiveness and applicability of HIV interventions that incorporate complementary therapies.

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER

1 INTRODUCTION ...................................................................................................... 1

2 LITERATURE REVIEW ............................................................................................... 4

3 METHODOLOGY ..................................................................................................... 22

4 RESULTS .............................................................................................................. 32

5 DISCUSSION ......................................................................................................... 83


REFERENCES ............................................................................................................ 96

APPENDIX .............................................................................................................. 100

About this Master's Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
School
Department
Degree
Submission
Language
  • English
Research field
Keyword
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Partnering Agencies
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files