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Izvestia Journal of the Union of Scientists - Varna. Medicine and Ecology Series

HIV - between fear and professionalism

Miglena Kolarova-Dimitrova


The occupation of healthcare workers in their care for patients and exposure to blood and biological fluids brings the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other blood infections. The risk of contamination in the hospital environment is reciprocal, from patient to staff and vice versa. Aim: The aim of this article is to explore the stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV in the process of their healthcare. Materials and Methods: Anonymous poll examined 330 individuals - copper workers, students and HIV seropositive. The results were statistically processed with SPSS v. 20.0, using descriptive, variational and comparative analysis. Results: The results of the analysis show that slightly over half of the surveyed medical specialists are not afraid to provide care to an HIV positive patient (about 60%), with a significant part supporting the periodic HIV/AIDS tests of medical staff. On the other hand, 74% of HIV seropositive respondents report that they report their HIV status while visiting a doctor, and only 36.00% say their physician is aware of the fact that they are HIV positive. The main reason for hiding information about the HIV status is the fear of stigma and discrimination. In the group of medical students surveyed, only 44% of the respondents are ready to provide care to an HIV seropositive patients. Conclusion: Although healthcare workers and medical students in training are well aware of the mechanisms of transmission of HIV infection, there is still fear of working with HIV seropositive patients. This also determines the choice of these patients to keep their HIV status secret when visiting a medical professional.


stigma, discrimination, health workers, HIV seropositive

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