Providing a Safe Place: Adopting a Cultural Safety Perspective in the Care of Aboriginal Women Living With HIV/AIDS

Jane McCall, Bernie Pauly


Aboriginal women living with HIV/AIDS are more likely to die of AIDS-related illnesses and less likely to access treatment for their HIV infection than the general population infected with HIV. A study examining the lives and experiences of Aboriginal women facing significant socio-economic barriers and living with HIV/AIDS uncovered a number of themes related to their experiences with health care, including fear of rejection. The participants were reluctant to access health services because they feared judgemental and discriminatory attitudes. It was evident that they felt unsafe accessing care. The authors examine how cultural safety principles might be applied in therapeutic relationships with Aboriginal women as part of the process of facilitating access to care that is acceptable and timely.

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