An exploration of the knowledge and attitudes of Saudi occupational therapists (OTs) regarding people living with HIV\AIDS in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Digital Library
Introduction: Relatively 38 million people are living with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) in addition to the virus which causes AIDS, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). AIDS-related complications were responsible for the deaths of 35 million people globally between the beginning of the pandemic and the end of 2020, with the disease's prevalence continuing to rise across the Middle East and North Africa. Due to an early misunderstanding of HIV transmission patterns, many Muslims incorrectly think that only "sinners" may get HIV/AIDS. Consequently, stigma and prejudice are seen as the greatest challenges for persons with HIV/AIDS in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to get an understanding of and investigate the experience and knowledge of Saudi Arabian Occupational Therapists. Methodology: The researcher selected the framework qualitative design as the research's methodology to collect data from six participants, 4 male and 2 female Occupational Therapy practitioners. Semi-structured audio recorded interviews were conducted, recordings were transcribed digitally for data analysis. Then, the qualitative data were thematically analysed. Result: The analysis concluded four main themes and eight subthemes. Proceeded with the participants' general perception of HIV/AIDS, then move on to their knowledge development in relation to the virus, their clinical practise in the context of working with a person living with HIV/AIDS, and finally, the socio-cultural obstacles and future prospects from the perspective of the participants. Conclusion: Participants mentioned they lacked significant understanding about HIV/AIDS and the occupational therapy role with HIV+ patients. Their collective understanding of HIV/AIDS was derived from the theory they studied, movies, television programmes, chats with others, and books or articles, owing their lack of understanding to the incomplete HIV/AIDS education incorporated in the curriculum. In addition, while they would not mind working with an HIV- positive client, HIV/AIDS related discrimination in the study population was presented by altering the treatment approach, take extra contact precautions, minimize interaction between HIV positive patients with other patients
Occupational Therapy, HIV, AIDS, Rehabilitation, Saudi Arabia, Infectious diseases