Palliative care experiences of HIV and AIDS patients

Affordable and Effective

The Patients’ Rights Charter (Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), (2008) stipulates the provision for “special needs in the case of persons living with HIV or AIDS” and palliative care that is both “affordable and effective”.

Palliative Care

This study explored the palliative care experiences of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficient Syndrome (AIDS) patients and their families. Interviews were performed, on patients and family members of other patients who had received palliative care in a small urban palliative care centre.

Despite the successful role out of Anti-Retrovirals, there remains a great need for palliative care for persons facing a life threatening illness.


The study concluded that patients want good holistic care. The most important aspects of care named by the patients and their families were compassion, respect, dignity and spiritual support.

The care that patients want is holistic, unsophisticated and relational. This kind of care is what is promoted as palliative care by the World Health Organisation.