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Fixation with one’s own social class may be reductionist, ignoring the existence of marginalised people and their needs. Focusing on the socially disadvantaged means taking their problems seriously, respecting them, and offering professional skills and advice to support them in identifying the problems and to develop together strategies in order to solve these.
Research which is based on empowerment, i.e. enabling people to gain control over all domains of their lives is less likely to patronise and is more likely to be accepted.
In order to successfully prevent HIV infection in all socio-economic population groups in Europe, more information is needed on the factors which make people vulnerable to disease and vulnerable to infection with HIV.
More evidence-based interventions need to be developed and implemented to improve the living and working conditions of disadvantage people (such as employment, housing, education) to decrease their vulnerability to HIV infection and health risks in general.
At the same time, prevention messages need to be designed and adapted to the knowledge level and culture of people in working class settings.
The effect of socio-economic status in quality of life and life expectancy once a person is infected with HIV needs to be examined more closely. These issues could only be given marginal importance in this literature review. The attitudes towards testing, access to health care and quality of health care may be strongly influenced by socioeconomic differences, which highlights the importance of improved prevention interventions.
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