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Sources of Social Capital for Malawi People Living With HIV


With one of the highest rates of poverty and HIV in the world, Malawi faith-based organizations (FBOs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community-based organizations (CBOs) are expected to provide tangible and emotional support to people living with HIV (PLWH). Using Lin's social capital theoretical approach, we examine the perspective of PLWH regarding the adequacy of support responses. Forty-six rural Malawi HIV+ adults provided interviews that were recorded digitally, translated, and transcribed by Malawi research assistants. Atlas.ti was used to organize the data and to aid in the analytic process. Participants expressed disappointment in the lack of resources that could be accessed through the FBOs although their expectations may have been unrealistic. Outcomes from accessing and mobilizing the FBO network were negative in terms of stigmatization by FBO leaders and members, whereas outcomes related to CBOs and NGOs were generally positive in terms of empowerment through HIV information and attendance at support groups.

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