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Palliative care as an essential component of the HIV care continuum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalLancet HIV
Early online date16 Jul 2018
E-pub ahead of print16 Jul 2018


King's Authors


Although antiretroviral therapy has reduced mortality among people with HIV, inadequate treatment coverage, ageing, and the increasing incidence of organ failure and malignancies mean that high-quality care should include care at the end of life. This Review summarises the epidemiology of HIV in relation to mortality, and the symptoms and concerns of people with AIDS and those living with HIV who have either related or unrelated advanced comorbidities. In response to the evidence of a need for palliative care, the principles and practice of palliative care are described, and the evidence for its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness is appraised. The core practices of palliative care offer a mechanism to enhance the person-centred nature of HIV care; I identify the gaps in this type of care, and present evidence for effective models of care to address these. I detail the policies that prompt governments and health systems to respond to the palliative care needs of their population. Finally, I conclude this Review with evidence-based recommendations to improve the delivery of, and access to, high-quality HIV care until the end of life, reducing unnecessary suffering while optimising person-centred outcomes.

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