Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

ISSN: 2155-6113

Open Access

A Quantitative Exploration of Health Care Workers Opinions and Attitudes towards HIV-Infected Co-Workers and Patients in Beijing, China


Xiaona Liu, Xinying Sun, Lenneke van Genugten, Vicki Erasmus, Yuhui Shi, Yanling Wang, Wenyi Niu and Jan Hendrik Richardus

This study examines underlying stigmatizing opinions and attitudes of health care workers (HCWs) that may drive discrimination towards HIV-infected co-workers and patients in the workplace. Socio-demographics, opinions regarding managing HIV-infected co-workers, and attitudes regarding working with HIV-infected patients were measured using a self-administered anonymous questionnaire in a sample of 392 HCWs (113 doctors, 236 nurses and 43 technicians) in Beijing. Participants perceived a high risk of HIV transmission in both co-worker and HCW-patient relationships. Half of participants agreed that HCWs should routinely and mandatorily receive HIV-tests, HIV-infected co-workers should disclose their diagnosis to relevant parties, and should be restricted from performing invasive procedures. Most of participants feel disgusted by patients infected through sexual contact, and believed that HCWs have the right to refuse to care for infected patients, and that those patients should be treated only in designated hospitals. Almost all participants intended to avoid performing invasive clinical procedures or nursing services for HIV-infected patients. Nurses had significantly more stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV-infected patients than doctors and technicians. The identified rigid opinions on managing HIV-infected co-workers, together with stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV-infected persons, underscores an urgent need for interventions to prevent discriminatory practices in health care settings.


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