Following diagnosis, the role of ongoing education and maintaining a rapport with your client can be critical in their remaining linked into clinical care. Just as during other times throughout the continuum of care, people’s ongoing education needs will vary. Ensuring a holistic approach is taken is key in ensuring that all aspects of client care are considered and addressed. The following is not an exhaustive list but provides guidance on topic areas that should be addressed with people with HIV:
- Assessing their understanding of adherence once they commence treatment. (See also Section 11 Adherence support)
- Ways of preventing other STIs and BBVs in terms of preventing onward transmission
- The importance and role of maintaining a healthy lifestyle (diet, exercise, limiting the use of alcohol and other drugs)
- What being HIV positive will mean in terms of how often they will need to attend medical appointments (such as monitoring, annual check-ups, vaccinations, STI checks, prescriptions.)
- Fertility choices and options
- Referrals are available for support services and counselling (may include those relating to drug use, potential self-harm, family violence)
- Encourage questions or concerns when you meet at follow-up appointments.