HIV/AIDS was once a dreaded and imminently terminal diagnosis. Hospice care and the AIDS epidemic shared a parallel history in the United States. Hospice care grew across the United States in the 1980’s in part out of necessity. During those years, hospices in American cities were filled with young men dying from AIDS.
It was work by early hospice advocates that bonded them with victims of AIDS, as they offered symptom relief, comfort and emotional support when they could not offer a cure. Over subsequent decades, thanks to activism and advances in treatment, HIV infection is no longer the rapidly progressive, terminal illness that it once was in the United States. Treatment now enables patients to live much longer. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV. Deaths associated with AIDS continue to decline. Treatment failure can occur, and those with the disease continue to be susceptible to numerous infections and certain cancers that can create life-threatening situations.
Ohio’s Hospice has continued to maintain a mission focus on addressing the needs of and assuring quality of life for HIV/AIDS sufferers. Patients with HIV/AIDS who are experiencing the following changes in their condition may consider hospice as an option for support and assistance:
- The development or advancement of life-threatening conditions such as cancer, heart disease or lymphoma
- Increasing and repeated emergency room visits and hospitalizations
- Lack of response to antiviral therapy
Ohio’s Hospice can offer HIV/AIDS patients a safety net of services that include:
- Pain relief
- Symptom management
- Psycho-social support
- Spiritual support
- Nutritional counseling
- Occupational therapy
- 24/7 nurse on-call
- Support and counseling through transitions in condition and care
We offer loved ones and caregivers:
- Training and education about the disease and its progress
- Information about community resources
- Spiritual and emotional support
- Respite care
- Grief counseling
By caring for patients and families together, we enable both to devote time and energy to each other so that they can celebrate life and continue to make memories.
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