The role of rehabilitation in HIV care is growing. But many rehabilitation professionals have limited experience in this area.
The good news is that you already know much of what you need to know. If you have worked with individuals with other episodic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis or diabetes, you will find there are similar issues. In many ways, you will simply need to apply your existing clinical knowledge to the specific impairments and activity limitations of those living with HIV.
However, it is important to realize that individuals with HIV have needs and sensitivities specific to their experience:
- Stigma and prejudice are real and significant factors in the lives of people with HIV. Many people resist disclosing their HIV status as a result.
- The importance of confidentiality and building trust takes on an even greater significance in this context.
- You have an important role as advocate for your client.