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1.5 – Who provides rehabilitation for people living with HIV?

Rehabilitation is defined as any service or activity that addresses or prevents body impairments, activity limitations, and social participation restrictions experienced by an individual. This includes physical, mental and spiritual dimensions of health.14 Therefore, there are many people who can provide rehabilitation for people living with HIV, including:

  • Rehabilitation professionals, such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech-language therapists and physiatrists15
  • People providing rehabilitation in the community, including community rehabilitation workers, other community-based rehabilitation (CBR) workers, HIV home-based care workers, or family/friends focused on improving an individual’s function and participation
  • Doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, nutritionists or others working in health care who are focused on enhancing an individual’s function and participation
  • Complementary therapies focused on function and participation, including the work of chiropractors and massage therapists
  • Traditional healers and spiritual leaders may also contribute to rehabilitation when they promote function and social participation (see Section 3.4)
  • Anyone else in the multidisciplinary team who is focused on improving the function and participation of a person living with HIV

14Worthington C, Myers T, O'Brien K, Nixon S, Cockerill R. Rehabilitation in HIV/AIDS: development of an expanded conceptual framework. AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2005 Apr;19(4):258-71. PubMed PMID: 15857198.

15Cobbing S, Chetty V, Hanass-Hancock J, Myezwa H, Nixon SA. The essential role of physiotherapists in providing rehabilitation services to people living with HIV in South Africa. South African Journal of Physiotherapy. 2013;69(1):22-25.