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Difficulties to implement a support group for HIV patients


The project was to establish a support group for HIV patients, animated by a psychologist.

Our step was to allow patients to learn how to live better with their sickness by sharing their experiments of HIV.


All the 550 patients followed in our unit were informed.

Before integrating the group the patients met the psychologist individually in order to better determine their waitings.

Seven patients were met including six finally interested for the participation in the group. Among the six, two of them finally desisted.

It had been well specified with the first group that it would take place only with the presence of at least three people and thus to inform the psychologist in case of absence.


The first group took place with three participants only, the second 15 days after with three participants also, and the third (and the last in fact). The last had to take place but was cancelled for lack of participants.


Several assumptions can be proposed to explain the failure of this project:

- the very variable request according to participants: quasi absent for some, coming more for one group of meeting being quasi in the refusal of their disease, and others, on the contrary, very petitioning to exchange on the difficulties of living with this sickness where the probable disappointment of certain participants who came only once and note that there were difficulties to divide in-depth with others wishing to remain on surface.

- the discouragement, for some, to have moved for nothing since finding itself to two (some had not prevented of their desistance), the group did not take place.

- past lapse of time between preliminary maintenance and the effective beginning of the group, (we needed a minimum number of interested patients to start the group) and finally, the schedule which returned it non accessible to people working.

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Correspondence to Julia Artur.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Artur, J., Genet, P., Pigeon, A. et al. Difficulties to implement a support group for HIV patients. Retrovirology 7 (Suppl 1), P162 (2010).

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