Sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and HIV/AIDS in particular, are physical health conditions that can have a profound impact on a client’s psychological and relationship functioning. For example, a psychological impact may be that the client feels shame or guilt for having acquired the infection. An example of a relationship impact may be that a client’s disclosing to his or her partner that he or she has the infection may lead to suspicion or mistrust within the couple’s relationship.
Helping professionals also may hold certain biases and assumptions or have particular emotional responses to clients with STIs, specifically HIV/AIDS. These may relate to the client’s prognosis for meeting treatment goals, the helping professional’s level of hope for the client to have a satisfying life, and/or stereotypes about how these infections are acquired. Left unexamined, these biases, assumptions, and emotional reactions can impact a helping professional’s ability to work effectively with a client with an STI, including HIV/AIDS.
Post two potential helping professional reactions to a client who has HIV/AIDS. Explain how each reaction might influence the helping professional’s perceptions of the psychological and relational impact of HIV/AIDS when working with the client.
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