facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Pets a big help to women with HIV/AIDS

Jan. 24, 2012 at 8:27 PM   |   Comments

CLEVELAND, N.Y., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Middle-age women with HIV/AIDS find support and pleasure from their pets, U.S. researchers say.

Allison R. Webel and Patricia Higgins of the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and colleagues found having pets was helpful for women living with HIV/AIDS and managing their chronic illness.

Webel tracked how women with an average age of 42 with HIV/AIDS stay on track to take their medications, follow doctors' orders and live healthy lifestyles. Ninety percent had children and more than half were single.

During the focus groups, six social roles of the women with HIV emerged that helped and hindered these women in managing their illness: pet owner, mother/grandmother, faith believer, advocate, stigmatized patient and employee.

All roles had a positive impact except stigmatized patient, which prevented women from revealing their illness and seeking out appropriate support, Webel said.

Being a pet owner was an important surprise, Webel said.

"Pets -- primarily dogs -- gave these women a sense of support and pleasure," Webel said in a statement.

A cat owner said her kitty will be right there for her when she is hurting.

"Dogs know when you're in a bad mood ... she knows that I'm sick, and everywhere I go, she goes," a dog owner said.

The findings were published online in the journal Women's Health Issues.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Study: Early air pollution exposure linked to autism Study: Early air pollution exposure linked to autism
2
Family of Dallas nurse Amber Vinson says she's free of Ebola Family of Dallas nurse Amber Vinson says she's free of Ebola
3
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
Michelle Obama made a 'Turn Down for What' Vine inspired by turnips Michelle Obama made a 'Turn Down for What' Vine inspired by turnips
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback