Yu-Te Huang

International Journal of Palliative Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 5, 24 May 2013, pp 218 - 225

HIV/AIDS has become a chronic and manageable disease owing to the remarkable advancement in medication, and it is now suggested that a palliative approach should be integrated into the trajectory of the disease to alleviate patients' psychosocial distress and optimally improve their quality of life. This article synthesises a body of literature to highlight several clinical and systematic challenges that should be addressed in implementing a palliative approach to care for HIV/AIDS patients. They involve pain and symptom management, health-care providers' perceptions of HIV/AIDS, patients' beliefs about palliative care, variability in informal care resources, socioeconomic and demographic determinants of palliative care, and difficulties in evaluating the effectiveness of palliative care. To inform current practice in the palliative care domain, responses to the identified challenges are discussed. A disease stage-specific model is also presented to respond to the prolonged course of HIV/AIDS.

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