Not Just “A Roof over Your Head”: The Meaning of Healthy Housing for People Living with HIV

The literature has identified housing as a fundamental unmet need for people living with HIV; yet there has been little qualitative evidence exploring housing and HIV, particularly from a Canadian context. This paper focuses on our qualitative analyses of the housing experiences of 48 HIV-positive people living in Ontario. Findings from our interviews illustrate healthy housing as a dynamic interconnection between health, housing and other social factors that are influential to the health and well-being of people with HIV. Four salient themes have emerged from our qualitative findings: the interplay between healthy housing and economic security; the relationship between HIV, health and housing precariousness; the interconnection between housing, HIV, safety, stigma, social isolation and social exclusion; and the meaning of healthy housing for people living with HIV. These findings re-emphasize the importance of housing policies that consider housing as more than just a roof over one’s head, but also as something that supports the physical, mental, emotional and social well-being of people living with HIV.

Publication Date: 
In Press
Journal Name: 
Housing, Theory and Society
Ontario, Canada