Current approaches to HIV prevention, treatment and care

Current approaches to HIV prevention, treatment and care

David Thomas Evans National teaching fellow and senior lecturer in sexual health, Faculty of Education and Health, University of Greenwich, London, England
Mark Dukes Charge nurse, The Royal London Hospital, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • » To become familiar with the physiology and effects of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission

  • » To understand the role of nurses in all areas of practice in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of HIV

  • » To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • » To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first labelled as a new illness in 1981; it took two more years to discover a causative virus, which was named human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in 1985. Nurses who practised during those times may recall the fear, panic, stigma, ethical dilemmas and refusals to care that were associated with the pandemic. Four decades later, HIV can be considered a long-term condition rather than a life-limiting disease, as a result of developments in treatment. However, the UK has the highest number of people living with the virus since the pandemic was first identified, and there remains a need to challenge stigma and prejudice in relation to HIV and AIDS, to ensure that people receive timely access to HIV testing, treatment and preventive measures. This article explores the role of nurses in all areas of practice in preventing onward transmission of HIV, providing treatment and patient education, and promoting the well-being of people living with HIV.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11046


Evans DT, Dukes M (2018) Current approaches to HIV prevention, treatment and care. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11046

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 20 June 2018