Client education

David Lee: Melbourne Sexual Health Centre 
Cherie Bennett: NSW STI Programs Unit

Nurses play a pivotal role in managing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), in particular by providing clients with evidence-based education, so that they can make choices, evaluate decisions and choose the best options to maintain and improve their health. The scope of this work may vary both in the role of the nurse according to his or her clinical practice and the needs of the client. How to prevent future infections (including sexually transmitted infections [STIs] and blood-borne viruses [BBVs]), empowering patients to take an active role in their health care and preventing onward transmission of HIV, are some examples. People differ in their health needs and being aware of their level of health literacy is critical in order to tailor the information and ensure their understanding, giving them the ability to make informed health decisions.