The Oncology Nursing Society has announced their position on the care of individuals with HIV infection.
The Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) recognizes that HIV/AIDS is a complex disease process requiring a holistic, multidisciplinary approach. Adequately educated healthcare providers, including oncology nurses at the generalist and advanced practice levels, are essential to ensuring quality care to individuals with this evolving disease process.
It is the position of ONS that:
- All nurses have a moral, legal, and professional responsibility to care for people with HIV infection.
- Nurses have an obligation to act as resources and role models to other healthcare providers, policymakers, and the general public in the care of individuals with HIV infection.
- Individuals with HIV infection have the right to timely access to the full spectrum of healthcare services, including palliation of symptoms and end-of-life care, regardless of the stage of illness, co-morbid conditions, or other therapies.
- All healthcare providers must use appropriate infection control procedures to prevent transmission of HIV and other infectious agents.
- Incorporation of routine HIV risk assessment, prevention, and risk reduction education and interventions into standards of nursing care is integral to controlling the HIV epidemic.
- Collaboration with HIV/AIDS-related organizations, such as the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (ANAC), is essential to ensuring comprehensive, quality care of individuals with HIV infection.
- Evidenced-based standards of care including risk reduction strategies (eg, needle exchange and condom distribution programs), identification of high-risk groups (eg, women with cervical cancer), and access to emerging strategies in HIV management (eg, anti-retroviral therapies) need to be defined and implemented.
For more information, contact the ONS Customer Service Department at 501 Holiday Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15220 or call (412) 921-7373.