Undetectable equals uninfectious!
When I started teaching HIV studies, in 1990, after working on an HIV ward, never could we have imagined, back then, that we would use terms like this! Okay, so there's still not a formal cure for AIDS, or a vaccine against HIV, but this is as close as we get - at this moment in time - to preventing new infections and enabling people living with HIV to live lives as health and well as if they didn't have the virus.
If it's personal stories you are interested in ...
Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2013
That's the goal of UNAIDS. Click the hyperlink to be taken to the UNAIDS website, where you will find so many more resources, especially supporting your studies on women, reproductive health and HIV.
Will that goal be achieved? What can YOU do to help move it on?
The classroom Prezi for midwifery students
Here's the link to the Prezi I use in class. You will notice how the first section starts off with re-capping on the "HIV foundations" session, that's why it's important you work through that Spark page, with all the various videos embedded throughout, first. Then the "modes of transmission", in particular, are explored in more detail in relation to females, reproductive health, pregnancy and child birth.
The Prezi, linked in the button below, moves on from the generic Foundations session to consider HIV within the context of physical, psychological and social aspects of pregnancy and childbirth.
Working on your KASH
Along with the HIV session you do with me in class, below are some over-view resources for you to work through, on sexual infections.
It's really important for each one of you to assess what you KNOW on the various sexual infections - make sure it's #ScienceNotStigma, as we say on Twitter!
But, especially as "sex" can be an emotive and opinionated topic for so many people, across all times and places, it's good for you to critically explore, and reflect on, your ATTITUDES to what you know about sexual infections, too. It's not just academic or cerebral knowledge that matters here, but your attitudes and feelings, too!
Equally important is the imperative to learn new SKILLS and constantly develop and enhance them. For example, if you feel shy or embarrassed talking about sex, or certain sex, or sexual infections, explore ways to overcome this fear (erotophobia is fear of sex, which can sometimes include people to fearful to talk about it!)
Finally, in this KASH acronym from Griffith and Burns (2014) Teaching Backwards, it's important to improve / update your sexual health Knowledge, Attitudes and Skills regularly - make a routine HABIT of it all.
Use it or lose it!
A wise old saying, indeed! If you don't routinely develop all aspects of your KASH, in regards to the wide aspects of sexual, reproductive and HIV clients' health, you'll never progress in your understanding, genuine holistic care or your compassionate professional practice!
In relation to all matters sexual: remember to prioritise your (potential) clients!
Whether you are thinking of sexual health, sexual infections, HIV, reproductive and pregnancy choices, prevention methods (prophylaxis) or stigmas often associated with various sexual conditions or life-ways: remember your Code of Professional Conduct.
To do: Explore the wording of Section 1 of the code, above, and read out each and every sentence individually. Then pause to think - critically reflect - on examples of how you might customise this requirement of your Code, in relation to a (potential) client's sexual health and well-being.
When teaching wider aspects of sexual health (and HIV) in class, I hear so many examples of poor professional practice. It might be in a word - something a nurse, midwife or other HCP / HCW says - a judgement they pass, an isolating policy based on someone's known or presumed status. Sadly, the list goes on!
A glossary of relevant terms
- Beneficence - (from Latin) bene= good / facere = to do (something), therefore, "do good"
- Discrimination - usually implied in the context of doing something negative, which treats the other as less than equal
- Ethics - (from Greek) the good conduct of e.g. professions, cultures, societies
- Homo- / Bi- / Trans- phobias - where "phobia" implies anything from irrational fear to active hatred of gay and lesbian (homosexual), bisexual or trans (transgender) people
- Moralism - refers to people using judgemental terminology or practices, in relation to others, e.g. using the word "promiscuous", where this term is often defined differently across genders and sexualities
- Morals - (from Latin mores), often used interchangeably with "ethics", but more often relates to a person's morals / ethics, rather than a professional or cultural code of ethics
- Non-judgemental - as in "non judgemental, unconditional positive regard" for a person; an idea in counselling, promulgated by Carl Rogers. It's sometimes difficult not to make judgements, but what - as professionals - we are called to do, is not to act on those judgements negatively, or in a prejudiced manner towards others
- Non-maleficence - one of the 4 core pillars of healthcare ethics. From Latin: non (e.g. not / don't); male = evil or badness; facere = to do, i.e. don't do bad
- Prejudice - from pre-judgement, i.e. making one's mind up (about someone / something) before we've actually encountered them (see: discrimination, stereotype & stigma)
- Stereotype - two or more of something (from Greek: stereo - 2; typos = type / things). "I know what you lot are like!" (i.e. a pre-judgement based on having met one of this type before)
- Stigma - from Greek, literally a mark or sign, but used post-Erving Goffman's Stigma theories, as a mark of a discrediting / discreditable person or condition
Four key principals of healthcare ethics
Created with an image by MarioTrainotti - "maternity mother pregnant woman"