Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X
SADALA, Maria Lúcia Araújo and MARQUES, Sílvio de Alencar. Twenty years of care for persons living with HIV/AIDS in Brazil: the health professionals' perspective. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2006, vol.22, n.11, pp.2369-2378. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2006001100011.
The aim of this study was to describe the meaning ascribed by health professionals to the care they provide for persons with HIV/AIDS. Data were collected through recorded interviews with 10 health professionals providing care to AIDS patients in different institutions in São Paulo State, Brazil. Three themes emerged from the analysis: (a) the overall scenario of healthcare provision for AIDS patients; (b) the relationship between healthcare professionals and patients; and (c) ethical aspects related to care. Despite significant advances, the study identified discriminatory behavior in the treatment. Such behaviors were related to feelings of insecurity and fear of infection on the part of healthcare professionals, which could be explained by the lack of appropriate training in general services and hospitals. Specific training for treating the patients mainly targeted health professionals in centers specializing in HIV/AIDS, resulting in difficulties for integrating the care of these patients with other services under the Unified National Health System. The data related to characteristics of professional training in the health field as a whole, leading one to reflect on the skills expected of health professionals in caring for (and relating to) persons with HIV/AIDS, as well as the impact on AIDS prevention.
Keywords : HIV Seropositivity; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Patient Care; Health Personnel.