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As a nurse who has repeatedly encounter negative attitudes to PLWHA, by nursing students, I was looking forward to this presentation.
David Pickles presented research on the socio-cultural influences on the perceptions of nursing students toward caring for the people living with HIV/AIDS: Implications for Nursing Education.
Negative attitudes of nurses impacts patients. With the increasing number of overseas student, studying nursing in Australia, they bring with them beliefs from their home countries.
The interviews with the undergraduate students showed fear of transmission, myths & misconception, homophobia, responsibility and disparity. The quotes from the participants made it clear, some couldn't overcome their prejudice even with sound knowledge of HIV and its transmission.
The discussion afterwards was even more interesting, as different people spoke about how they had managed prejudice. Suggestions given included- calling out the prejudice, having PLWHA speak to students and having strong role models.
I agree with all the suggestions in the study and by the audience, but having worked in HIV for 20 years, I find it disappointing that we are still encountering this prejudice. When will the tide turn?