Home Institution

Stanford University

Publication Date

Fall 2012

Program Name

Kenya: Urbanization, Health, and Human Rights


The principle objective of this Independent Study Project is to investigate the influence of storytelling as a counseling method on conceptions of HIV among HIV positive individuals in the city of Kisumu. Interviews with counselors, community health workers, and HIV support group members were used to determine the role of storytelling in the counseling process. Stories and life experiences were gathered and analyzed in order to extract themes and draw a relationship between the act of storytelling and a person’s perception of their HIV status. Data was collected at various support groups in the Kisumu area and through the help of the Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya office. Based on the data collected, this study has found that storytelling is primarily a way of creating positive identity change that both aids in the healing process and leads to a reinterpretation of what it means to be an HIV positive individual.


Art Therapy | Community Health | Immune System Diseases | Public Health