Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Greater involvement of people living with HIV in health care

via Journal of the International AIDS Society, by Odetoyinbo Morolake1, David Stephens2 and Alice Welbourn3

1Positive Action for Treatment Access, Lagos, Nigeria
2Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
3International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS, London, UK

Journal of the International AIDS Society 2009, 12:4doi:10.1186/1758-2652-12-4

Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS represents a mobilising and an organising principle for the involvement of people living with HIV in program and policy responses. People with HIV have been at the forefront of designing and implementing effective HIV treatment, care and prevention activities. However, governments and health systems have yet to act to fully harness the potential and resources of people living with HIV in addressing the epidemic.

The lives and experiences of people living with HIV highlight the need for a shift in the existing paradigm of disease management. The high prevalence of HIV amongst health care providers in many countries, exacerbated by stigma towards those with HIV in the health care professions, is seriously undermining the capacity of health systems and signals the need to change the current nature of health care delivery. Moreover, the negative experiences of many people with HIV in relation to their health care as well as in their daily social interactions, coupled with the ever-limited current investment in treatment, care and support, demonstrate that the current system is drastically failing the majority of people with HIV. Current health management systems urgently need to be more effectively maximised, to increase the quality of standards of health care systems and services in resource poor countries. An integrated approach to health care based on a human rights framework, grounded in community realities and delivered in partnership and solidarity with people living with HIV, offers the most viable approach to overcoming the crisis of HIV in the health care system.

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