BHIVA Standards of Care for People Living with HIV

2. Person-centred care

Person-centred care means that services consciously adopt the perspectives of individuals, families and communities to respond to their needs and preferences in humane and holistic ways; the person is a participant, not just a beneficiary of the health system.

Good-quality care should focus on the person and not only their illness. These Standards aim to ensure that care for people living with HIV is ‘person-centred’. Person-centred care sees the person as an individual and considers their desires, values, family situations, social circumstances, and lifestyles. In so doing, needs and preferences can be responded to in humane and holistic ways, and people seeking care are seen as participants not just beneficiaries of the health system.

Standard 2 - Person-centred care

When people living with HIV are with healthcare professionals, it is important they are asked about their problems, symptoms and concerns. Despite ART, psychological and social problems persist, as does the experience of stigma. People living with HIV in the UK report a high burden of pain, other symptoms and psychological concerns, which are all associated with poorer adherence, suicidal ideation, poorer quality of life and treatment switching. People attending HIV care services in the UK have identified the need for health professionals to better identify and manage their physical and psychological concerns in order to achieve their life goals.

References: 27–38

2b. Self-management and peer support

In keeping with the management of other long-term health conditions, people living with HIV should be enabled to optimise self-management and access peer-support opportunities to promote their physical and mental health, and overall well-being.