HIV Status disclosure: Emerging strategies and experiences amongst HIV/AIDS patients receiving home-based palliative care in Uganda

Wesley Too
Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing, Kabarak University School of Health Sciences, Nakuru, Kenya

In Africa, palliative care initiatives have emerged and expanded as ‘islands of excellence’, yet are an absent feature in most African countries’ national health policies [1]. Thus, home-based care (HBC) is by far the most common model of palliative care provision in sub-Saharan African countries, a resource-led decision by healthcare providers in response to provision of palliative care to increasing numbers of People Living With AIDS (PLWA) with limited resources [2]. Further, the HBC model has been reported to be flexible and to offer culturally appropriate care, and therefore this ensures sustainability of care among PLWA [2]. While this is the most common way of delivering holistic palliative care in sub-Saharan Africa, families and volunteers need to initiate palliative care intervention to PLWA as early as possible [2,3]. It is now recognised that palliative care should be incorporated and work alongside and within other programmes [3–6]. Such recognition has led to the development and promotion of a public health strategy for palliative care, promoted by the WHO [6]. The strategy recognises HIV disclosure as a critical point of entry to palliative care, yet there are still several psychosocial issues among PLWA which are commonly not addressed [7,8]. Disclosure amongst PLWA largely remains as an unmet need [9]. As part of a larger study, this paper only reports findings of qualitative study exploring the experiences of disclosing HIV status among patients with advanced AIDS in Uganda. Read more…