About three-quarters of all females diagnosed as HIV positive in the UK come from the African continent. However, very little is known about their daily lives. This article summarises the findings from a qualitative study of 62 women from 11 different African countries living with HIV in London. It explores the factors shaping their survival strategies and describes their experiences in their own words. They are far from home and many live in considerable poverty, but most show great creativity and courage in caring for their own health and that of their families in what is often a hostile environment.
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