I am applying for a job as an outreach worker at my local support centre for people living with HIV and AIDS. I know I could actually do the support and outreach stuff (fact is my current boss saw the ad and told me to apply because she knew it was a career progression that won't happen in my current job and she is always saying I'm far too qualified for my current job), and I have a Masters in Health Psychology so I have the booklearnings on health promotion/behaviours/patient-professiona
The ad says that 'knowledge of the issues faced by people with HIV/AIDS would be advantageous' which got me thinking - how much do I really know?
- I know the mechanisms involved in the transmission of HIV and the disease process.
- I know that HIV and AIDS are not the same thing, nor is AIDS an inevitability for someone with HIV.
- I know that it can be transmitted in a variety of ways and that there is no stereotypical HIV/AIDS sufferer.
But I am not sure about other issues. Stigma, yes, not just because of the disease, but also because of lifestyle? Problems getting work (or being able to)? Housing? Living off benefits is hard, especially in this particular area of the UK, which is expensive and most people are high SES (hell, I know this one, I struggle enough as a single mother with a chronic illness/disability working part time!). I really don't know.
Most resources I've seen online are about social stigma and educating people that HIV isn't rampantly contagious or a death sentence. But I'd really like a bit more insight into the daily problems faced by people with HIV/AIDS if anyone can give any advice or pointers to better resources. Having this job would help me progress my career and would also make the world of difference to my son and I, so I'd really like to make sure I have a reasonable starting and not subscribe to any misconceptions.
Many thanks in advance!