The Open AIDS Journal

ISSN: 1874-6136 ― Volume 14, 2020

HIV Positive Patients' Experience of Receiving Health Care Services: A Phenomenology Study in Iran

Heshmatollah Asadi1, Mohammad-Hasan Imani-Nasab2, Ali Garavand3, Mojtaba Hasoumi4, Abdollah Almasian Kia5, Behzad Haghi1, Fatemeh Setoodehzadeh6, *
1 School of Health and Nutrition, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran
2 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Lorestan University of Medical Sciences, Khorramabad, Iran
3 Department of Health Information Management and Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
4 Health Management and Economics Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
5 School of Health Management & Information Sciences, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran
6 Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran



Most of the studies on HIV/AIDS health care status are usually conducted in big cities while small towns and rural areas are faced with specific challenges. This study aimed to identify the barriers and problems encountered by HIV-positive patients when receiving health services in the small cities and rural areas of Iran.


This is a qualitative study that was conducted using an interpretive phenomenology method in 2016. This study was conducted through a semi-structured interview for which a purposeful sampling method was used. In the present study, data saturation was observed after 15 interviews, but more than 17 interviews were conducted to ensure the reliability of the interview. Data were analyzed by Colaizzi's method using MAXQDA10 software.


Barriers and problems encountered by patients when receiving health care services consisted of 10 categories, 32 main themes and 67 sub-themes. The categories were as follows: fear of revealing the disease, fear of confronting providers, seeking support, not visiting health care providers, inappropriate behavior of health care staff, concealing the disease, hardship endurance, financial concerns, psychological stress and pressure, and disclosure of patient information.


Recognizing the problems of HIV-positive patients in using health care services and resolving them can help to reassure the patients about the health system. Introduction of supporting policies and regulations, appropriate public education, training health sector personnel, and provision of medical equipment and facilities would positively affect the process of solving the problems of HIV-Patients (treating HIV patients).

Keywords: HIV positive, patients’ problems, Health care services, phenomenology, Iran, Colaizzi’s methods.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 150
Last Page: 161
Publisher Id: TOAIDJ-12-150
DOI: 10.2174/1874613601812010150

Article History:

Received Date: 23/3/2018
Revision Received Date: 12/9/2018
Acceptance Date: 30/9/2018
Electronic publication date: 30/10/2018
Collection year: 2018

© 2018 Asadi et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Health Promotion Research Center, Zahedan University of medical Sciences, Zahedan, Iran; E-mail:

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