Palliative care for children with HIV/AIDS

Michelle Meiring and Rene Albertyn

in Oxford Textbook of Palliative Care for Children

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199595105
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665020 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks In Palliative Medicine

Palliative care for children with HIV/AIDS

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Seven years into the rollout of ARV treatment in the South African public healthcare sector, my response to my colleague’s statement that ‘now that we have antiretrovirals, we don’t need palliative care’ is that we certainly do, and that antiretrovirals have helped us to provide this care. Given the scale of the epidemic, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, this secret that is ‘palliative care’ cannot be limited to the knowledge and skills set of the very few paediatric palliative care practitioners who exist in these regions. It is a ‘secret’ that needs to be incorporated into the practice of every healthcare professional, and especially the HIV clinician and their team. We need each other — the HIV team needs to keep abreast of developments in the treatment of this evolving disease, and the palliative care practitioner needs to keep abreast of developments in palliative medicine and pain control. Not only has HAART improved the lives of many children, but it has also improved clinicians’ understanding of palliative care. It is not all about death and dying — it is, in the paraphrased words of Dame Cicely Saunders, about ‘helping children and their families to live until they die.’ This chapter covers the role of paliative care in children infected and affected by HIV, the control of pain and other symptoms in paediatric HIV, psychosocial support, and terminal care of children with AIDS.

Chapter.  13597 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Paediatrics ; Palliative Medicine

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