Teaching HIV-specific content for pre-licensure nursing and health professions students: a review and synthesis

J. Craig Phillips, Vera Caine, Georgia Dewart, Anthony de Padua, Añiela M. dela Cruz, Tracey Rickards, Maggie McGinn, Stephany Cator, Bernadette “Bernie” Pauly, Marilou Gagnon

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Persistent Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) prevalence rates remain a challenge, particularly because health care providers (HCP) are not fully prepared to engage in HIV care. This hesitancy to engage creates access to care barriers for people living with HIV (PLWH). We conducted a systematic review to identify educational interventions focused on developing HIV competencies in higher education across health science disciplines. We searched databases for primary studies focused on interventions. Using PRISMA guidelines, we identified 20 articles from 19 distinct studies. While there was an overwhelming body of literature that assessed knowledge, skills, and attitudes in health sciences students on HIV and AIDS, the low number of intervention studies was notable. With the exception of two studies, PLWH were not included in the interventions. This finding stands in sharp contrast to the well-established Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and/or AIDS (GIPA) and Meaningful Engagement of People Living with HIV and/or AIDS (MEPA) principles. The primary means of the educational intervention was focused on delivering lectures to address HIV and AIDS knowledge for HCP. There was a significant lack of focus on historical, cultural, policy and legal contexts of HIV and AIDS care; theoretical justifications for the interventions were absent. No study focused on the impact of an intervention on the care provided to PLWH by HCP after graduation. There is an urgent need to develop long-term sustainable and scalable interventions that address the consistently identified lack of knowledge and skills, and stigmatizing attitudes of HCP and students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1614-1621
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec. 2018


  • HIV
  • Pre-licensure
  • curriculum
  • intervention
  • post-secondary education
  • systematic review


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