CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

During the last two decades, the practice of HIV care has altered tremendously. The rapid accumulation of knowledge about HIV pathogenesis has resulted in the development of novel drugs. In addition to knowledge upgrades, health care workers’ attitudes regarding modern HIV care concepts are even more important. The underlying idea of current HIV care emphasizes patient autonomy and the best possible use of the various expertise of health care specialists. The value of patient autonomy and a team approach to HIV care is also highly supported by research findings obtained from clinical, economic, and humanistic results. The knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists about HIV can have a big impact on patient outcomes (Hsiang-Yin, 2014). Given the prevalent concept of a team approach to HIV care, the quality of patient care can only be ensured if all health care workers have the same high level of knowledge and positive attitudes (Hsiang-Yin, 2014). Chronically ill patients, such as those with HIV, have a lot of access to pharmacists, especially once the disease is under control and the patient simply needs to go to the pharmacy to get their medication updated (Hsiang-Yin, 2014). In other diseases and disorders, such as anticoagulation, hyperlipidemia, and asthma, pharmaceutical care has greatly reduced the occurrence of drug-related complications while also achieving the expected goals of drug therapy (Jungnickel PW, 1997). Studies have also indicated that involving pharmacists in the management of HIV patients who are poorly managed leads to better outcomes (Jungnickel PW, et al.).

This study focuses on community pharmacists’ attitudes and knowledge about HIV infected people, which was also highlighted in the WHO adherence report (WHO, 2013). HIV infection is a pandemic disease that is gradually making its presence felt in the developing world, where it is expected that the majority of the world’s HIV burden will be carried in the future (King H, 1998). Furthermore, it is a disease in which antiretroviral therapy and lifestyle modification play significant roles in the treatment and management of the condition (Chitre MM, 2016), and where health-promoting interventions in both therapeutic areas are accommodated within the pharmacist’s defined scope of practice (Wermeille J, 2014) (Kiel PJ, 2015). (Johnson LC, 1997).

Most, if not all, HIV patients use long-term antiretroviral therapy.The prescription refill dynamic allows for frequent personal and informed contact between the patient and the pharmacist, positioning the community pharmacist for HIV-related duties beyond typical pharmaceutical delivery (Kiel PJ, 2015). (Johnson LC, 1997). Such encounters give pharmacists with exceptional opportunities to provide pharmacological care to patients suffering from a variety of chronic conditions.

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