Community-based health services for people with HIV/AIDS: a review from a health service perspective.
Layzell S., McCarthy M.
Health services for people with HIV/AIDS have been mainly hospital based, but it is now recognized that much care can be provided outside hospitals. There are well documented problems in delivering care in the community to other client groups such as the elderly and the mentally ill, but there are particular difficulties with HIV/AIDS care. These stem in part from the clinical demands of AIDS-related illnesses, but also from the stigma associated with the disease. This review looks at three key areas of relevance to those planning community-based health services for people with HIV/AIDS. These are: the need for collaboration between the statutory and voluntary sectors; the need for co-ordination between providers at the point of service delivery; and whether care should be provided by generic or specialist providers. While certain universal principles apply, and are necessary to ensure a good standard of care, patterns of service delivery will inevitably vary according both to the local prevalence rates and the existing service infrastructure. There is more than one good model of care; all models must be flexible enough to deal with needs on an individual basis.