& Position Statement > HIV/AIDS :
Trained Nursesí Association of India endorses the policy statement
of the ICN on Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and
further specifies the position of Nurses on HIV/AIDS. Acquired
Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a global problem and is
evolving in epidemic proportions the world over. In the absence
of a vaccine or effective drug, the disease is fatal. Enough
Information is available on the nature of the Human Immuno Deficiency
Virus (HIV) and its mode of transmission.
disease is therefore preventable through modification of behaviours
that result in HIV transmission by educating individuals about
actions they can take to protect themselves from becoming infected.
The disease poses a challenge to the Nurses as they are working
directly with infected individuals, families and the community.
The Nurses must accept the challenge of caring for the HIV infected
persons and AIDS patients.
TNAI believes that the essential principles in Nursing care
with regard to HIV/AIDS are: to prevent the spread of HIV infection;
to provide care to patients infected with HIV/AIDS and to provide
support for their families and friends; to participate in effective
educational and counselling services. The
TNAI, through its infrastructure of Branches all over the country
can work towards and carry out the under mentioned activities:
Nurses can help in prevention of spread of infection by providing
appropriate care and through practice of universal precautions.
Information should be imparted to the public on HIV/AIDS transmission
and about safety measures for protection from HIV/AIDS infection.
The health education programmes should be targeted for general
public, groups practising high-risk behaviour and individuals.
The educational efforts should be aimed at modifying the high-risk
behaviour, reducing the risk of exposure and transmission and
diminishing the stress that the infection produces.
play a crucial role in providing physical care to HIV infected
and AIDS patients in whichever setting they may be placed i.e.,
in the hospital, clinics or community. The fear of contagion
and stigma associated with the disease produces social ostracism
and isolation of those infected. The Nurses play an important
role in psychological counselling of patients, families and
high risk groups. They must protect the basic human rights of
HIV infected persons and must maintain confidentiality of victims,
carriers and their families, and follow special guidelines in
caring for dying HIV/AIDS patients.
Nurses need a working knowledge of HIV/AIDS, its transmission,
the psychological, social and ethical implications, preventive
measures and safety precautions. They require a wide variety
of professional, educational and counselling skills to meet
the challenges posed by the disease and its impact. There is
need for revising the curricula for Nursing Education at all
levels to include teaching of necessary knowledge and skills
related to AIDS. The Nursing administrators should ensure in-service
education on AIDS and its prevention with special emphasis on
safety precautions for all Nurses.
ensure that Nursing Management principles adopted are effective
for prevention of AIDS and care of patients with AIDS, research
should be conducted especially in behavioural aspects to identify
the determinants of the given behaviour, and in evaluation to
assess the effectiveness of programmes implemented.
by virtue of their work, are more exposed to blood, body fluids
and tissues suspected of being infected and, therefore, to the
risk of acquiring HIV infection. The Nurses should be informed
as soon as the diagnosis of HIV is established. Standards for
handling infected patients and materials must be developed and
enforced in all health care settings.
protective equipment and facilities should be made available
to ensure the practice of universal precautions for protection
of Nursing staff and care of victims and carriers. In the event
of adequate protective equipment not being available, the Nurses
may decline to look after AIDS patients for reasons of their
who are exposed to HIV infection during the course of their
work should follow the directions as laid down by the hospital
infection committee. They must be followed up for a period of
six months to ensure that they do not develop the infection.