Counseling in HIV and AIDS has become very important in a basic model of health care, in which psychological issues are recognized as integral to patient management. HIV and AIDS counseling has two general aims: (1) the prevention of HIV transmission and the support of those affected directly and indirectly by HIV. It is important that HIV counseling should have these dual aims because the spread of HIV can be prevented by changes in behavior. One to one prevention counseling has a particular contribution in that it enables frank discussion of sensitive aspects of a patient's life—such discussion may be hampered in other settings by the patient's concern for confidentiality or anxiety about a judgmental response. Also, when patients know that they have HIV infection or disease, they may suffer great psychological stress such as fear of rejection, social stigma, disease progression, and the uncertainties associated with future management of HIV. Good clinical management requires that such issues be managed with consistency and professionalism. Counseling can both minimize morbidity and reduce its occurrence. All counselors in this field should have formal training and receive regular clinical supervision as part of adherence to good standards of clinical practice. Aims of counseling in HIV infection are to determine whether the lifestyle of the person places him or her at risk. To work with the individual so that he or she understands the risks. They should also be able to help identify the risks and bring about a sustainable behavioral change.
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