Spirituality and Identity Reconstruction in Nepal
Living with HIV in Kathmandu and Pokhara Valleys
Spirituality is an important means of reconstructing the identity of people living with HIV (PLHIV), irrespective of religious beliefs. Although there are some studies on stigmatization and discrimination attached to HIV and AIDS in Nepal, there is a dearth of studies on the role of spirituality in managing such stigmatization and on reconstructing the identity of people with PLHIV. This paper therefore investigates the role of spirituality in identity reconstruction. By following a qualitative methodology—in-depth face-to-face interviews with PLHIV sufferers in the urban valleys of both Kathmandu and Pokhara—the article investigates the role of spirituality in improving health, changing socio-economic status and reconstructing the identity of those affected. This paper has important policy implications for Nepal and for other countries with similar socio- cultural contexts with regard to PLHIV sufferers and other marginalised communities.
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