HIV Treatment Education: Community Perspectives
HIV treatment education for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) and their care providers has long been central to ACRIA's mission. Relatively early in our existence as a community-based clinical research site, our patients were telling us that they desperately wanted to learn more about the health issues that were impacting their lives. ACRIA responded by developing a program that could provide culturally and linguistically appropriate information for PLWAs and care providers.
Our desire to learn more about the role and challenges of other educators has resulted in the Fall 2002 issue of ACRIA Update. We invited people who provide various kinds of community-based HIV treatment education to share their experiences. Our contributors come from many geographic areas, work with varied populations, and offer a wide range of treatment education services -- from individual counseling to group workshops to creating written materials. Some are volunteers, doing remarkable work with little or no assistance. Others work at established AIDS service and advocacy organizations, with the support and resources that such agencies can ideally supply. Still others are clinicians working within a healthcare setting.
The contributors discuss some of the challenges effective treatment educators face -- the ability to listen, to offer non-judgmental support, to understand the difference between offering information and offering advice, to recognize our personal biases and limitations, and, perhaps most importantly, a firm belief in everyone's ability to learn and make decisions that are right for them. We've gained a tremendous amount from reading the perspectives on treatment education in this ACRIA Update. We hope that you find the newsletter interesting and informative as well.
This article was provided by AIDS Community Research Initiative of America. It is a part of the publication ACRIA Update. Visit ACRIA's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.