A grounded theory of Salvaging Quality of Life provided the conceptual framework for the development of the Living with HIV scale which was validated in this study. The HIV+ convenience sample (n=187) was 66% male, with a mean age of 40·6 years, 69% African-American, and with an average CD4 count of 229 mm3. A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation was conducted on the final 32-item scale and nine factors with Eigenvalues >1 explained 60% of the variance. A second order factor analysis of these nine factors resulted in a two factor solution (HIV Struggles and HIV Reverence) which explained 49·4% of the variance. Cronbach alpha reliability coefficient for the total scale was 0·84. Differences between gender, ethnicity, education and presence of an AIDS diagnosis, and quality of life, were explored. Females had higher total scores which suggested they had a more positive quality of life than males. The Living with HIV scale can be used as a method of obtaining input from patients for care planning and for evaluating the effectiveness of nursing care intervention using quality of life as an outcome of care.