Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Health, Aids, Nursing, Medicine, Viruses, Community, Treatment, Disease

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/12/28

The causes, symptoms, mode of transmission, treatment and demographic of interest of HIV/AIDs

The virus that transmits HIV/AIDS is present in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk of mothers infected with the disease. In addition, the virus also exists in saliva, sweat and tears although at a percentage that cannot transmit it to a person. Since time immemorial, there has not been a single case reported as a result of shaking hands, sneezing, or via mosquito bites.
The most common ways of HIV/AIDS transmission are engaging in unprotected sex with an infected person, mother to child transmission through breastfeeding and sharing infected needles. The type of sex that transmits the virus includes heterosexual, homosexual, anal, vaginal and oral sex. Also, the virus is transmitted via perinatal infection, where mothers spread the disease to the newborn during birth although there are new treatments to control such transmissions.
As the virus penetrates into the blood stream, it dominates the cells that are responsible for defending the bodies, identified as CD4+ lymphocytes. Therefore, the cells reduce the strength of the cells and turns in into a miniature factory that multiplies the copy of the virus. As the prevalence of the virus increases, the CD4+ cells are reduced, and the body develops a situation that makes it hard to deal with infections and other threats posed to the body.


The symptoms of HIV manifest themselves 2 to 12 weeks after an individual is infected. During this phase, a person experiences the worst flu ever. The symptoms that manifest themselves include: diarrhea, fever, headache, fatigue/weakness, joint pain, rash, weight loss, night sweats, rash, yeast infections, memory loss, pneumonia, and depression amongst others.Mode of transmission

As explained above, the modes of transmission of the disease include

Unprotected sex with an infected person
Blood transfusions
Sharing contaminated needles
During pregnancy or through breastfeeding
The HIV antiretroviral drug is the most common type of treatment. The drug lacks the ability to cure the disease, but it helps the infected persons to live healthy and long. The drug aims at ensuring that the level of the virus is kept at a lower level. In this way, the virus lacks the ability to weaken the immune system and gives an allowance for the body to recover from any initial damage caused by the virus. In most instances, the drugs are often denoted as antiretroviral (ARVs), anti-HIV or anti-AIDS drugs.

Demographics of interest

Since the discovery of the epidemic, more than 78 million have been affected across the world. The diseases have also led to the death of more than 39 million individuals. By December 2013, 35 million people lived with HIV. It should be noted that, the burden of the disease varies between countries and regions. The most affected region is the Sub-Saharan Africa where 1 in every 20 persons is believed to be infected with the Virus.

Determinants of health

Determinants of health are sophisticated and are comprised of social, economic and environmental factors that influence a person’s and a collective society’s uncertainties for unjust and avoidable contrast in health identity and health results among crowds of people.
Biology and genetics is one of the main determinants of health-related HIV/AIDS. These are simply age, race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity over which someone has little control. The persons in the adolescent stage are more susceptible to HIV/AIDS compared to grown up people due to sexual activeness and peer pressure. The assumption that a certain tribe is more sexual that certain tribes have made even the younger generation from that tribe to adopt. The sexual activeness among the whites has made them more susceptible to HIV/AIDS than the black people. The sexual activeness among the female is high compared to the males, and this poses high risk of female being infected.
Community networks are mainly socializing of someone with his or her family, friends, partners and neighbors. These are the people close to someone and they influence a person individual’s behavior. The people can expose one to the risk of HIV/AIDS when they offer someone advice that contributes to this disease infection.
Daily working conditions like physical working environment, job security, working environment, health care access, and quality determine the level of risk to HIV/AIDS. The determination to ensure job security in a competitive world may force someone to engage in anything especially sexual behaviors with those in power. Proximity to health centers and high-quality services poses less risk to HIV/AIDS infection.
Social-economic conditions and larger environmental conditions influence the level of HIV/AIDS infection. The poor people may engage in sexual activities like prostitution to earn a living, and thus the poor are at more risk. The levels of interaction with these determinants determine the level of infection in HIV/AIDS.

The epidemiologic triangle as it relates to HIV/AIDS.

The epidemiologic triangle comprises of three corners commonly referred to as vertices. They include the agent, the host, and the environment. The components of the triangle are discussed below in relation to HIV/AIDS.

The Agent (what)

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is an infectious agent that causes AIDS by invading and disabling the immune system of an individual. In this way, it put an end to the body’s natural defense against diseases.

The Host (who)

Human beings are the host of AIDS since kit affects the immune system of infected persons. As the virus is transmitted into the blood system, the virus invades and disable’s the body’s immune system making it hard for an individual to resist any diseases that attack the body. The host develops the symptoms associated with the disease, and lack of treatment leads to complications in the later stages.

The Environment (where)

The human blood is the most suitable environment for the virus. Also, the virus can live in saliva, vaginal fluids, breast milk, semen, sweat, and saliva.

Role of the community health nurse

The community nurse is one of the most influential figures at the community level concerning primary health care. The community health nurse is not only the first interface with patients but also the focal person of the primary community unit. Community health nurses offer a varied range of services at the community level in linkage with the primary health care units. A sneak view of the role of the community health nurse in HIV/AIDS prevention provides a baseline for the function of the nurse in a changing society.
In the grand scheme of things, the community health nurse is tasked with four primary responsibilities: Case finding, reporting, data collection and analysis and follow-up. Every community health nurse works in linkage with a specific primary health care facility. As a result, the roles of community health nurses are by default the divisional responsibilities of primary health care. Going beyond their capacity as the aids to provision of health care community health nurses use the outpatient clinic databases to find HIV patients in their homes and initiate treatment. By extension, most health care facilities use their data in outpatient and ambulatory services to map patient in outreach and follow up. Caitriona et al. (2010) posits that every chronic condition including HIV/AIDS warrants more than one-time curative intervention requiring close follow-up and a wider inter-disciplinary approach in the treatment.
Data is the lens with which health care providers see the problems inpatients. In public health data furnishes the health authorities with the necessary snapshots into the arching problems of the population. The community health nurse is central to this process. Through the identification of affected individuals, community health nurses develop a population well poised for action. Surveillance systems in the United States are dependent on proactive nurses at the community levels who solicit for reports at the grassroots level through active case finding. Complete reporting, however, is the end result of intensive data analysis to aid in the interpretation of the data and eventual implementation of action. Community health nurses deal directly with the facets of incidence and prevalence as they fulfill their end part of surveillance. In Mackey et al. (2013) follow up in HIV/AIDS is said to be more about the palliative aspect rather than the direct approach of curative treatment. As a result, community health nurse views their role in follow-up as part of larger approach in helping both the patient and their families to undertake their treatment positively. They also prepare patients in their last phase of ailing towards a smooth transition and accepting death as a normal finality.

National agency or organization that addresses HIV/AIDS

Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Florida is one of the most renowned health care facilities for treatment of HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles. Through its HUG-Me Program, the facility offers treatment to a large and growing population of HIV/AIDS patients. Through this non-profit making program, the facility contributes actively in a system of care covering both the curative demands of the patients within the hospital and outreach to the communities. Florida is one of the areas that were historically hit hard by the HIV pandemic in the United States. Subsequently, health facilities in the region were out-stretched as resources were in extreme demand. The inception of the Arnold Palmer Hospital was a welcome step. At the community level, the hospital provides screening services as per the WHO policy on screened for cases of HIV (Mackey, Hatcher, Happell, & Cleary, 2013). The center also provides antiretroviral therapy to all patients on follow up. The hospital’s community health nurses work in collaboration with other health care providers at the community level implementing the functional collaborative TB-HIV activities. In general the facility is actively involved in the fight against HIV through community health care.


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