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ASHM Report Back
Clinical posts from members and guests of the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) from various international medical and scientific conferences on HIV, AIDS, viral hepatitis, and sexual health.
Not a good enough reason
"Holding Space for those who hold doubts" by Christy Newman, was very interesting. It described a view from a patient's perspective of what it means being on long term treatment possibly for rest of their lives and the implications.
There are several reason as to why patients may not choose to be on treatment. Some being just not ready for a life time commitment, some dealing with the new diagnosis, financial situations, co-morbidities that they already have which may affect or delay them from starting ARVs or simply being on long term medications.
It was clearly outlined with examples that patients need to have an option of being able to make choices in regards to when and whether they want to be on treatment. Are they on treatment as they need to be on it for their own benefit or is it to protect others from acquiring? Sometimes the side effects or the disruption caused by taking these medications would raise the question in their mind " protecting others from acquiring HIV? not a good enough reason to start meds"..... A point to be noted.
As clinicians it is our responsibility to explain the individual benefit of ARVs and the Public health benefit to the patients. However it is the individuals choice as to which direction they want to take. Hence holding space for those who hold doubts is an important step in HIV care.