Palliative care is a set of supportive interventions that improves the quality of life of patients and their families who face the problem associated with chronic disease or life-threatening illness. This can be done through the prevention and relief of the broad spectrum of suffering be it physical, psychological or spiritual. In particular, it aims at:
Providing relief from pain and other distressing symptoms.
Integrating psychological and spiritual aspects of patient care.
Enhancing quality of life, and may also positively influence the course of the illness.
Offering support system to help patients live as actively as possible.
Offering a support system to help the family cope during the patient’s illness.
Using a team approach to address the needs of patients and their families, including bereavement counselling, if indicated.
Affirming life and regards dying as a normal process.
Neither hastening nor postponing death.
Palliative care can be provided as in patients care hospital, at clinics or health centres or within a Home Care program. Palliative care is an integral part of active total care for PLHA as HIV should become a chronic manageable disease.
Many aspects of palliative care, such as, pain management, symptom control and psychological support, are applicable early in the course of the illness and therefore the palliative care needs of persons with AIDS vary from person to person and from illness to illness.