For many people in the western world HIV has become more manageable and for some a chronic disease.  This has posed new and different challenges for palliative care service provision  and seen some patients struggle to deal with a new lease of life.
The change in life expectancy has been as a result of access to improved therapeutics, however this access is not equitable. In some countries HIV AIDS has reached epidemic proportions and it is still a life threatening illness. In Sub-Saharan Africa nearly 1 in every 20 adults (4.9%) is living with HIV, accounting for 69% of the people living with HIV worldwide. 
Nurses will come into contact with those who are managing their HIV and with those who are not. Patients with symptomatic HIV or with AIDS (and who have palliative care needs) can be seen in many different settings and have a range of very different care needs and circumstances.