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People with HIV/AIDS: who cares?


  • Nicola Robinson

    1. Reader in Sexual Health and HIV Studies, Centre for Sexual Health and HIV Studies, Wolfson Institute of Health Sciences, Thames Valley University, 32–38 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, London W5 2BS, England
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People with HIV/AIDS: who cares? Studies have shown that some nurses, doctors and other carers have negative attitudes towards people with human immune deficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Some cope by avoiding working with such patients, while others just do the best they can. But does it matter? This paper describes a review of the literature on the impact of attitudes to care and the barriers affecting the quality of care for people with HIV/AIDS by professional health care workers and other carers. Most of the reports identified were based on attitude scales, mostly unique and often unvalidated. Attitudes of health care workers based in the community, and ‘house keeping’ staff such as porters, receptionists, etc., have been neglected areas of research. There is also little information about the culture of organizations and the attitudes of individuals with HIV/AIDS to care. Only three references were found in which both patients’ and carers’ attitudes to each other were considered and none of these looked at negative feelings and their impact. There is scope therefore to investigate the attitudes of patients and carers towards each other and how this can effect the quality of care. It is anticipated that the benefits of such investigations could lead to the development of educational strategies designed to improve the quality of patient care.