On 28 August 2022, ASHM, the national peak body representing the blood-borne virus (BBV) and sexual and reproductive health workforce, and the National Association of People with HIV Australia (NAPWHA) convened a high-level roundtable on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
The roundtable brought together clinicians, community, government and industry representatives to forge consensus on person-centred care in Australia.
Clinicians, community, government and industry delegates agree that person-centred principles should guide the delivery of HIV-related care to ensure the highest attainable standard of health for people living with HIV and people at risk of HIV acquisition. Person-centred approaches:
- centre a person’s autonomy, dignity and rights
- respect a person’s decisions and experiences
- support a person to lead the dialogue about their health
- build relationships grounded in understanding and trust
These are holistic approaches that centre people and their goals, beyond a narrow focus on disease control, prevention and viral suppression. Person-centred care is about people having the space to articulate their priorities, and working cooperatively with healthcare
providers to make decisions that work for them.
Peer navigators and support workers model person-centred practices by working alongside people living with HIV. Peer workers demonstrate the effectiveness of holistic, multi-disciplinary, non-stigmatising and personalised care and are critical to implementing a person-centred approach in Australia.
People living with HIV deserve to flourish but still face discrimination, criminalisation, insecurity, isolation and stigma. Healthcare providers and policymakers should understand HIV not only as a biomedical phenomenon but also as a social one, where treatment is more than adherence and good quality of life is a goal in itself.
Ultimately, a person is an expert on their own needs. Healthcare providers and policymakers can best help people living with HIV and people at risk of HIV acquisition by centring their concerns, desires and experiences. Respecting people’s autonomy empowers them to take control of their health, promotes good quality of life, and instils hope.
Priorities to ensure Person-Centred Care
- Shift from disease control model of care to one focusing on the well-being of the individual seeking care
- Shift from strict biomedical understanding of HIV and co-morbidities to one which
captures psychosocial and structural determinants of health, and incorporates quality of life
- Ensure a holistic, rights-based approach that centres people’s autonomy
- Build systems that integrate peer support workers into care models and service delivery
- Enable and listen to people living with HIV lead the dialogue about their health
If your organisation wishes to endorse the Consensus Statement, please contact ASHM Policy and Public Affairs Manager Benjamin Riley at email@example.com