Your Guide To...BHIVA Standards of Care for People Living with HIV

2. Person-centred care

‘Person-centred care’ is good-quality care that focuses on your needs as an individual. Your care should not only be about your healthcare needs, it should also be about everything that is important to you, including your family and social situation. You should be involved in making decisions about your care and not just receive healthcare services decided by your doctors. Healthcare professionals should talk with you about your life. You should feel able to talk about your health, your symptoms and your worries. You should feel able to ask questions about these things.

Healthcare professionals should help you manage all aspects of your quality of life. This could include, if needed, managing pain, emotional and mental health.

Standard 2 - Person-centred care

2a. Stigma

Your care should be non-judgemental. You should be treated with dignity and respect. You should feel safe from discrimination. You shouldn’t have to worry about being treated unfairly. Staff should support you if you face HIV stigma and discrimination. This support should extend outside the HIV clinic to include all aspects of health and social care.

Key messages

  • You should receive equal and fair services as an individual. If you are unhappy with your care, you should be able to raise it with your healthcare provider. This should not affect your care.

  • All your medical records must be kept safe and confidential.

  • You should feel safe, supported and be treated with dignity and respect. If you experience any stigma, you should be supported to bring an end to it, without this affecting the quality of your treatment.

  • HIV-related stigma can have a big impact on mental health and wellbeing. Health and social care staff should be trained in identifying stigma, and there should be policies in place for dealing with it promptly, fairly and practically.

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