Part 7: Potential risks for
Recruiters may feel they are being intrusive when approaching network associates about HIV testing. In some instances, recruiters may encounter persons who become angry when asked about HIV. Recruiters may also feel uncomfortable if discussion leads to questions about their own HIV status. Disclosure of serostatus can potentially have adverse consequences for HIV-infected persons (e.g., stigmatization, rejection by others, employment discrimination).
Any agency planning to use the social networks strategy should define anticipated potential risks and procedures for minimizing these risks. Following are some examples of such procedures.
- Orientation and coaching of recruiters should emphasize that they should not approach people with whom they are not comfortable and should terminate any encounters during which they feel uncomfortable or threatened.
- Recruiters should be advised that they do not need to reveal their own HIV status or history in order to discuss HIV risk in a general way.
- At each follow-up encounter, staff should ask recruiters if they have been subject to negative reactions or violence associated with participation in the program. Agencies should have procedures for obtaining expert consultation regarding domestic or partner violence and complying with all applicable reporting requirements.
- Agencies should have procedures for expeditiously addressing potential psychological consequences of learning one is HIV-positive.
|“Consider ethical issues around relationships between recruiters and associates. Sometimes there is unprotected sex between recruiters and associates. Recruiters need support in dealing with those issues.”|
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