Individualized HIV Care: At the Collaboration of Humanizing Protocol and Adaptive Relationships

Nora Sjue, Davidson College
Shreya Sharma, Davidson College

Evidence-based medicine and individualized care lie at the ends of a spectrum which documents the shift from focusing on the physical to the holistic health of a patient. For HIV-positive clients, humanizing and appropriate care lies at the individualized end of this spectrum of care. At Buikwe Health Center III in south central Uganda and Nala Community Hospital’s Comprehensive Care Center in eastern Kenya, we conducted grounded, ethnographic research guided by the experiences of HIV clinicians. We were able to devise a model that describes how care can transform from evidenced-based measures to individualized approaches. Our paper describes the model in depth and how we observed our model in action in the aforementioned clinics. Our model stipulates that this transformation is achieved through the combination of humanizing protocol and adaptive relationships between client and clinician. Humanizing protocol is founded on evidence-based measures that center accessibility, support, and appropriate treatment for the client. These protocols ensure that the client’s physical health needs are being treated while also creating the opportunity to form adaptive relationships. Adaptive relationships arise when clinicians use the humanizing protocol along with reciprocal trust to understand the client’s holistic needs and adapt their care to meet them. The path towards individualized care in HIV clinics comes from equal emphasis on refining protocol to humanize treatment and forming adaptive relationships between clinician and client.

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 Presented in Session 141. Racism in Theory and Practice