Healthcare Professional's Perceptions and Attitude towards HIV/AIDS Patients

Thursday, 10 July 2008: 1:35 PM
Saira Amir Ali Khimani, BScN , School of Nursing, The Aga Khan University Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan
Shazmeen Razak Daruni , School of Nursing, The Aga Khan University Karachi, Karachi, Pakistan

Learning Objective 1: Identify perceptions among health care professionals about caring people living AIDS.

Learning Objective 2: list the factors affecting caring attitude of health care professionals towards HIV/AIDS patients.


HIV/AIDS has been the most stigmatized disease in all over the world, especially in developing countries. In Pakistan, 1972 with 1765 HIV positive and 233 AIDS cases has been reported (as cited in Curriculum Wing, Ministry of education 2005). Health care providers play a vital role in improving the lives of these patients.


The purpose of literature review is to identify perceptions and attitude of health care providers towards people living with HIV/AIDS and lists the factors leading to such perceptions and attitude.


The literature review of both eastern and western countries was done. These include three qualitative and two quantitative studies from 2000-2007.


Literature review reveals that health care providers perceive insecurity while caring these people because of many factors which includes fear of contagion nature of the disease, fear of non typical sexual behavior of homosexual infected patients, lack of experience of staff, knowledge deficit related to the occupational safety and absence of physical resources during emergency conditions. In addition, declined emotional support from supervisors, decreases the nurses' sense of control over their grieving process while caring dying patients. Moreover, Jewish and Muslim health care providers reported social and moral values leading to abstaining care to these patients. Therefore in order to improve health care professional attitude guidelines for nursing these patients and coping with individual responses should be developed.


Thus the review suggests that the health care professionals should recognize that overcoming individual responses of fear and undesirability to provide care to HIV/AIDS patients will facilitate dealing with the disease itself. Future researches in developing countries facilitate in developing a plan of care for every health care providers which will enhance their knowledge, guide their attitude and offer them strategies to decrease their stressors while caring HIV/AIDS patients.