Social Representations of health care professionals on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

ABSTRACT Objective: To apprehend social representation of health care professionals on HIV/AIDS and to compare it with a subgroup of physicians. Method: Qualitative research based on the Theory of Social Representations. Free associations for the term HIV/AIDS were collected from 73 workers of public services specialized in HIV/AIDS, in Salvador-Bahia. The results were analyzed in the EVOC software. Results: For all health professionals, HIV/AIDS is associated with “prejudice, care, disease and prevention”, and for the subgroup of physicians it is associated with the term “prevention”. Health professionals represented HIV/AIDS similarly to society in general and, due to their normative character, prescribed attitudes typical of health care professionals. Final considerations: The findings show that, despite the advances in the health area regarding the treatment of AIDS, prejudice still persists. It is important to strengthen interdisciplinary actions focused on discussions on this theme during training, favoring the comprehensiveness of the assistance.