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Advanced HIV disease and health-related suffering-exploring the unmet need of palliative care

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Ajay Rangaraj, Stephen Connor, Richard Harding, Clarice Pinto, Lastone Chitembo, Nathan Ford

Original languageEnglish
JournalLancet HIV
Early online date22 Nov 2022
DOIs
Accepted/In press30 Sep 2022
E-pub ahead of print22 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 World Health Organization. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

King's Authors

Abstract

With more than 38 million people living with HIV worldwide, the scale-up of antiretroviral therapy ensures nearly 28 million of them receive regular treatment. However, a substantial number of deaths still occur every year from AIDS-related complications, with approximately 680 000 deaths in 2021. Of the estimated 56·8 million people globally in need of palliative care in 2020, only 7 million can access services. Providing palliative care services can help alleviate health-related suffering, such as pain and disease-related symptoms, and improve wellbeing. This Viewpoint discusses the unrealised potential of palliative care in individuals with advanced HIV disease. Key areas of training for health-care workers include appropriate sensitisation, training in palliative care, and effective communication. Advance care planning supports both the individual and their family and is therefore of crucial importance. Integration of palliative care in HIV programmes is needed to address health-related suffering, particularly for advanced HIV disease.

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