The Empowered patient by Lance Feeney,Positve Life NSW, Australia
Factors influencing patients decision making: One of the major factors that influenced patients decision on starting treatment was having a trusted, educated and engaged HIV doctor who explained treatment and care options and provided quality advice. In a survey conducted by positive life NSW 57% would go with above option as one of the most important factor influencing them starting on treatment. Other factors include articles from publications, via internet and community HIV agencies(33%) and advice from other PLHIV (10%)
What makes it difficult HIV? 20% say they have no factors making it difficult to reach an informed decision about HIV treatment and care, however 80% do. Majority worry about its potential side effects, drug interactions with non-HIV meds and their impact on long term use. Other factors include lack of information on new treatments, information being too technical and difficult to understand. there were a few who did agree that the Stigma and discrimination associated with HIV itself is an independent factor that will influence their treatment and care.
It was interesting to know that patients rather preferred Drs with professionalism( open, motivated, engaged, non-judgemental and listens and discusses issues) and a relationship built on mutual respect, trust and confidentiality over Drs with competency (educated and up to date with HIV care and the management of otherb health conditions).