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Professional Communication Cultural Sensitivity Paper

Autor:   •  February 6, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  1,096 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,701 Views

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Cultural sensitivity and the HIV positive individualindividual

Marissa Encina

Grand Canyon Universityty

Cultural sensitivity and the HIV positive individual


It has been over 30 years since the first HIV/AIDS case was reported and although there have been wonderful advances in HAART, people living with HIV/AIDS continue to be discriminated against.  The purpose of this paper is to review HIV-related stigma and how nurses can treat this particular group of clients with cultural competence.  Cultural competence is a compilation of the clinical skills and professional behaviors of a healthcare provider focused on the cultural values, beliefs, and perceptions of the consumer while both are engaged in the therapeutic relationship (DeNisco & Barker, 2012, p. 486).

This cultural group is dear to me because I have worked for over 2 years with HIV positive Veterans who get their primary care from the Immunodeficiency Clinic at the Phoenix VA Medical Center.  I also have a younger brother who has lived with HIV for about 12 years.

Summary of Article

HIV-related stigma among persons attending an urban HIV clinic addresses what some HIV persons have experienced when it comes to discrimination and brings up some nursing interventions that can reduce HIV related stigma and promote coping as well as connectedness to family, community, and the health care system (Relf, Mallinson, Pawlowski, Dolan, & Dekker, 2005, p. 14).  The authors of the article collected quantitative data by having their respondents complete a HIV-Related Stigma scale.  They collected qualitative data with in-depth interviews that included questions about relationships with family and others, disclosure of HIV status to others, perceived obstacles and successes in their lives, and seeking HIV-oriented primary care (Relf et al., 2005, p. 16).

In their research findings the authors found that persons living with HIV experienced high levels of HIV-related stigma that may be associated with poorer mental health, impaired daily functioning, and an overall lower quality of life (Relf et al., 2005, p. 21).  Interestingly, there were correlations found between the number of years since testing positive for HIV indicating that the longer individuals are HIV positive, the less stigma they perceive (Relf et al., 2005, p. 21).

The authors conclude with suggesting that nurses and other health care providers assess for dimensions of HIV-related stigma and the impact on individual clients (Relf et al., 2005, p. 21).  Interventions can include providing clients with opportunities to discuss their experiences with stigma and treating them with respect by listening to them and treating them with compassion.


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