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Persons Living With HIV/AIDS: Employment as a Social Determinant of Health

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Purpose: For persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), the advent of highly active antiretroviral therapy has increased their longevity and quality of life. As HIV progresses, many PLWHA present declined domains of functioning that impede their ability to work. The authors explore employment as a social determinant of health to identify issues impacting employment outcomes for PLWHA.

Methods: The authors reviewed the literature addressing HIV across the domains of mental health functioning, neurocognitive functioning, and physical function and employment.

Results: When providing employment services to PLWHA, considerations for rehabilitation practitioners and educators include HIV/AIDS education, functional assessment, social support, considerations for women with HIV, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV/AIDS stigma, and employment resources for PLWHA.

Conclusion: With more than 1.2 million PLWHA in the United States, and most of new infections among persons 25–44 years of age, the prevalence of PLWHA seeking employment and inclusive of the U.S. workforce will continue to increase. Proving employment services for PLWHA is a complex process that is best served by an integrative service approach.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2016

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