Analysing the Experience of Motherhood Among Adolescents Living With HIV

Gabriela Cássia Ritt, Marco Daniel Pereira, Daniela Centenaro Levandowski


Aim: Adolescent motherhood is considered a condition of vulnerability that can be further complicated by the presence of HIV infection, but little is known about how adolescent mothers experience this process. The aim of this study was to analyse the experience of motherhood among adolescents living with HIV. Method: Seven mothers (15-21 years) recruited in specialized services in Porto Alegre/Brazil, whose babies’ ages ranged from four to six months, were interviewed. Interviews were tape-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Results: The qualitative content analysis of the interviews revealed a positive vision of motherhood, related to satisfaction with the maternal role and personal fulfilment. Pregnancy and motherhood served to these adolescents as an encouragement for self-care. The mothers’ difficulties were related to HIV and to the repercussions of this clinical condition, especially feelings of frustration and incompleteness of motherhood on the impossibility of breastfeeding, as well as fear facing the risk of MTCT. Conclusion: Future research of longitudinal design and with larger samples will be important to extend the knowledge of the specificities of this experience over time for young people of different ages and social backgrounds.


motherhood; adolescence; HIV