Kusuma, M. T. P. L., Kidd, T., Muturi, N., Procter, S. B., Yarrow, L., & Hsu, W. (2020). The Symbolic Meaning of HIV: Understanding Lecturers’ Ambivalence over Teaching HIV to Dietetic Students. Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, 19, 1-11. doi: 10.1177/2325958220939755
Responding to the increasing reports of health students and professionals demonstrating stigmatized attitudes toward people living with HIV (PLHIV), this article examined the learning process that takes place during their academic training. Using symbolic interactionism as a theoretical framework, we studied the way lecturers in dietetic schools in Indonesia make meaning of their understanding and experience of HIV in relation to their teaching conduct. We found that the current curriculum does not provide adequate opportunities for students to learn and interact with PLHIV. Participants described HIV discussion is mainly limited to the clinical aspects and essential treatment as they were uncomfortable discussing HIV with the students. The ostensible symbolic meaning of HIV among dietetic lecturers in Indonesia was compounded with limitations and restrictions affecting their teaching practices and attitudes to PLHIV. Future intervention is required to help lecturers recognize their degree of awareness and personal values about HIV.