Motherhood in the context of maternal HIV infection

Margarete Sandelowski, Julie Barroso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Metasummary and metasynthesis techniques were used to integrate findings pertaining to motherhood in 56 reports of qualitative studies conducted with HIV-positive women. Motherhood in the context of maternal HIV infection entailed work directed toward the illness itself and the social consequences of having HIV infection in the service of two primary goals: the protection of children from HIV infection and HIV-related stigma and the preservation of a positive maternal identity. Motherhood both intensified and mitigated the negative physical and social effects of HIV infection. HIV-positive mothers engaged in a distinctive kind of maternal practice - virtual motherhood - to resist forces that disrupted their relationships with and ability to care for their children, as well as their identities as mothers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)470-482
Number of pages13
JournalResearch in Nursing and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2003


  • Chronic illness
  • Motherhood
  • Qualitative metasynthesis
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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