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Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Related to HIV and AIDS

Training for Health Care Workers

Stigma and discrimination related to HIV and AIDS are almost as old as the pandemic itself, and, regrettably, often exist in health care settings. Discrimination against people living with HIV or AIDS results in poor quality of care for those who are infected or ill (or suspected of being infected), frightens away potential clients in need of care, and undermines effective HIV prevention efforts by limiting individuals' access to and use of health care services. As HIV treatment programs become increasingly available in resource-poor countries, access to and use of these lifesaving services will depend on the degree to which health facilities welcome and respect the rights of HIV-positive clients.

To address these serious issues, EngenderHealth has developed Reducing Stigma and Discrimination Related to HIV and AIDS: Training for Health Care Workers, a two-volume curriculum offering a unique training opportunity for health workers in countries hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic. The training course guides health workers through an investigation of the root causes of stigma and discrimination while helping them to understand their own attitudes about HIV, AIDS, and individuals affected by these conditions and how these attitudes might affect the care they offer. The training also provides a review of clients' rights in receiving health care services, information about the use of standard precautions and proper infection prevention techniques to help minimize the risk of occupational exposure to HIV, and guidance in developing action plans to help the participants put what they have learned into practice at their service settings.

The curriculum consists of a participant's handbook and a trainer's manual. The participant's handbook provides essential ideas on each topic, case studies, and a reprint of EngenderHealth's publication Infection Prevention: A Reference Booklet for Health Care Providers. The trainer's manual contains activities aimed at exploring the realities of HIV and AIDS and dispelling common myths and misunderstandings about HIV transmission and providers' risk of occupational exposure. The training employs participatory education techniques—such as role-plays, small- and large-group discussions, and brainstorming—that have been shown to be critical to successful adult learning.

View or download the curriculum:

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