Show Me the Love:” Barriers to Sexual Intimacy Among Persons with HIV/AIDS

The diagnosis of HIV & AIDS complicates sexual activity. Physiological and psycho-social factors such as body image, fear of rejection, and stigma can lead to shame and isolation. The purpose of the present study is to gain a greater understanding of the range of barriers to sexual intimacy that persons living with HIV and AIDS (PHA’s) encounter, as well as the strategies this population may utilize when successfully forming new sexual relationships. A community-based research approach using qualitative analysis will be used. Specifically, twenty persons living with HIV & AIDS will be recruited from Guelph and the surrounding area. Semi-structure interviews will be conducted and data will be analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings from this study will help the AIDS Committee of Guelph & Wellington County to better serve, and inform, its clientele and will advance the academic literature by improving understanding of how PHA experience intimacy. 

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Robin R. Milhausen


Sarah Hunter Murray


AIDS Committee of Guelph & Wellington County


Gender and sexuality studies


Life sciences


University of Guelph



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