The phenomenology of time: Lived experiences of people with HIV/AIDS in China
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Based on a qualitative study of lived experiences of people living with HIV/AIDS in China, this article explores the role of time - in particular, time as lived (or, perceptual time) - in these individuals' construction and reconstruction of the meanings of their illness experiences. Although their HIV infection interrupted the linear flow of time, the end of which is death, they had reconstructed the meanings of time according to their priorities in the process of living with this disease. Making sense of time beyond a linear time framework benefited these individuals by enabling them to restore their control over their lives and transform a process of deteriorating and dying into a process of living and growing. It is concluded that time, as a distinct form of illness experience, merits further examination in future AIDS research as well as in health research.
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