In Their Words: Burdens of HIV Nursing Include Lack of Respect and Resources

November 10, 2017


Zyra Gordon-Smith, D.N.P., APN, FNP-BC, AACRN, AAHIVS

Zyra Gordon-Smith, D.N.P., APN, FNP-BC, AACRN, AAHIVS

Gordon-Smith is a family nurse practitioner at Howard Brown Health in Chicago.

I serve in an African-American community, and I'm very privileged to work with colleagues that are passionate in regards to serving this underserved community. What's overwhelming may be the lack of resources for us to actually do what we really need to do. If we had that kind of support …, which we're actively working on: [getting] funding from pharma[ceutical companies], or get funding for our jobs ... that's what we're doing right now, my colleagues and I at our particular site on the South Side.

In regards to what we were trying to do with women and PrEP [pre-exposure prophylaxis] -- getting them to know [that] this is something [they] need to invest in, getting them to come to church events on the South Side so you can sponsor to do the testing, doing that kind of stuff -- it takes resources; it takes commitment; it takes staff. Listen: You need to have somebody come here to do this. ... Making myself available to be at these places, these community fairs -- it's a little bit extra; it's outside the job.

Image credit: Sony Salzman.

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This article was provided by It is a part of the publication The 30th Association of Nurses in AIDS Care Conference.

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