Working for Change 311
If you are a health worker
Health workers can play a very important role in helping to
stop the spread of HIV. You can do this if you:
• give information about how HIV is spread and how it is not
spread to every person you see—especially if they already
have other STIs.
• encourage both men and women to use condoms, even if
they are already using another form of family planning.
• use precautions against HIV infection with every person
you see. Since most people with HIV appear healthy, it is
best to act as if everyone you care for is HIV-infected. Any
time you have to cut the skin or touch body fluids, follow
the advice on page 295. This includes any time you must
give an injection, stitch skin or tissue, help with childbirth, or
examine a woman’s vagina.
• make health services private, confidential, and accessible to
all members of the community, including young people.
• invite someone from a regional AIDS organization to meet
with health workers in your area. He or she can help you
learn about the best ways to treat the infections that people
with HIV and AIDS often get. Discuss the other problems that
people with HIV and AIDS face. Try to decide how you can help
people using the resources you have, and think about where
you might find more resources to help meet people’s needs.
If health workers can work together and share resources,
they will not have to confront this huge problem alone.
➤ Make sure people
in your community
know where to get
tested for HIV, and
how to get care and
treatment with ART
when they need it.
➤ If every health
worker can offer the
and services, it will
save people time,
money, and energy
because they will not
have to search for
the best treatment.
Fight the fear and negative attitudes that many people have about HIV
As a health worker, you may have to face your own fears about getting HIV before
you can help others stop being afraid of those with HIV. A good way to begin is to
plan a meeting with other health workers in your area to discuss HIV. Help all the
health workers learn about HIV so
they will be able to provide accurate,
consistent information to the people
in their communities. If all health
workers can do this, it will help
prevent the fear caused by wrong
A health worker’s sympathy and
compassion can also help others change
their attitudes toward people
with HIV and AIDS. Then she
can fight HIV together
with the community.
ideas about AIDS. With less fear
from their neighbors, people with
AIDS—as well as those who care for
them—can become more accepted
in the community. Then they can
help others understand every
person’s real risk of getting AIDS.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012