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

2c. Participation of people living with HIV in their care

People living with HIV should be actively involved in decisions about their own health and social care. People who use HIV clinical and support services should be actively involved in the design, planning, delivery and review of these services. Ensuring active engagement in decision-making may require support and resources for both people living with HIV and service providers.

Service providers should be able to demonstrate their commitment to participation through identification of strategies, pathways and resources for both individual engagement in decision-making and community engagement in service provision.