CPD: HIV, disability and rehabilitation

Darren Brown
Specialist HIV Physiotherapist, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

With effective treatments, people living with HIV can now have normal life expectancies, grow older, and live with concurrent health conditions. Consequently, many people living and ageing with HIV now face new or worsening experiences of a wide variety of disability. The conceptualisation of disability is complex and has evolved over time. Disability can be broadly defined as any physical, cognitive, mental or emotional impairment, difficulty with day-to-day activities, challenges to social inclusion, or uncertainty, which can be episodic in nature. A range of measurement tools are available to evaluate the nature and extent of disability. The HIV Disability Questionnaire is the sole HIV-specific disability measurement tool. Identification of people at risk of, or experiencing disability, enables access to the right services at the right time. Rehabilitation is a fundamental health service and is the care needed when a person is experiencing, or likely to experience, limitations in everyday functioning or disability. Evidence-informed recommendations for HIV rehabilitation guide best practice and can inform person-centred HIV health care.

Keywords: HIV, functioning, disability, rehabilitation\