Positive Perspectives study results reinforce importance of good communication between people living with HIV and their healthcare providers

Global Positive Perspectives data demonstrate a strong link between high reported engagement with healthcare providers (HCPs) and positive self-reported health outcomes for people living with HIV, yet study results also show many do not feel comfortable raising important treatment issues.1

When considering how to make the most of often time-limited and sometimes virtual HIV consultations, two-way communication between people living with HIV and their HCPs may encourage joint decision making and support improved quality of life and health outcomes. According to published Positive Perspectives data, reported high-quality communication with HCPs was associated with people living with HIV reporting treatment satisfaction, enough understanding of their treatment, and perceiving their treatment needs as met.1

But the data indicated that a substantial proportion of people living with HIV did not report experiencing high engagement with their HCPs, and this was associated with significantly poorer self-reported health outcomes. Among Positive Perspectives participants, the most commonly reported barriers to communication with HCPs were:1

  • Fear of being labelled a ‘difficult patient’ (27%, 638/2,389)
  • Perception that the HCP knows best (23%, 540/2,389)
  • Despair that nothing much could be done to help (21%, 508/2,389)


Those people living with HIV in the study who reported only low or moderate engagement with their HCPs were more likely to report treatment dissatisfaction and suboptimal overall health than those reporting high engagement with their HCPs.1

While virtual consultations can provide people living with HIV the opportunity to receive continuous, personal care through reducing compounding factors such as distance to clinics1, these Positive Perspectives study results emphasise the importance of people living with HIV feeling empowered to initiate open dialogue during these appointments. The data demonstrate the importance of HCPs providing environments where the people living with HIV they look after are empowered to discuss their health care and treatment holistically.

For more information, ViiV Healthcare supports the Positively Thriving podcast series, including an episode focusing on virtual HIV consultations with tips for people living with HIV and their healthcare providers to get the most out of appointments.

The Positive Perspectives study is one of the largest, global, HIV patient-reported outcomes (PRO) studies to date, with 2,389 people living with HIV participating from 25 countries. The research was created to investigate how people living with HIV rate their own health, how living with HIV impacts their lives and affects their outlook for the future, as well as examining their interactions and relationships with healthcare providers and their experiences with ART.


  1. Okoli C, Brough G, Allan B, Castellanos E, Young B, Eremin A, Corbelli G M, McBritton M, Muchenje M, Van de Velde N, de los Rios P; Shared Decision Making Between Patients and Healthcare Providers and its Association with Favorable Health Outcomes Among People Living with HIV; AIDS and Behavior https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-020-02973-4