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A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Point-of-Care HIV Testing Alongside People who were Tested while in a Correctional Facility or at a Bathhouse Open Access


Other title
narrative inquiry
correctional facility
Point of care
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Genoway, Shyla G.R.
Supervisor and department
Caine, Vera (Faculty of nursing)
Examining committee member and department
Estefan, Andrew (Faculty of Nursing)
Sommerfeldt, Susan (Faculty of Nursing)
Richte, Solina (Faculty of nursing)
Singh, Ameeta (Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry)
Faculty of Nursing
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Nursing
Degree level
With a call to increase the accessibility of HIV testing in Canada, point-of-care testing for HIV is being readily adopted. The World Health Organization (WHO, 2012) outlines the importance of protecting the human rights of those being tested through ensuring: informed consent, confidentiality, access to counselling, correct test results, and a connection to care. Little attention has been paid to the experiences of people being tested through HIV point-of-care (POC). Some testing environments, such as bathhouses and correctional facilities, promote testing for HIV among higher-risk groups. In this narrative inquiry study I explored the experience of people testing positive for HIV through point-of-care while at a bathhouse. I engaged with two men, David and Chris, over a period of several months, in two to three conversations between one to almost five hours at a time. The conversations were transcribed verbatim and analyzed for narrative threads. Field notes and observations were also collected and reflections have been incorporated into this study. Three narrative threads for reconsidering practice were identified: a) seeing complexities and understanding testing decisions in relation to time, place, and social context; b) recognizing the impact and significance of secret and silent stories; and c) tentative and tension filled connections to care. It is important to understand testing experiences across time, place, and in diverse social contexts. These experiences are embedded within larger life histories of people that further raise questions about adequate support, follow up and counselling when POC tests are administered in bathhouses. Listening to the experiences of David and Chris has also revealed that health policy and public health practices are shaped by neoliberal discourses.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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