Sample Research Paper On AIDS/HIV
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, of HIV, is a deadly infectious disease that only human can contract and has become an epidemic according to several medical experts. Because it is an immunodeficiency disease, HIV profoundly weakens the immune system of the human by destroying significant cells that are meant to combat infection and disease (CDC, 2014). As such, if a person has a deficient immune system than they are vulnerable disease. As a virus, HIV takes a hold of a person by reproducing itself and seizing a person’s body. Like many other viruses, HIV often manifests itself first as flu-like symptoms. Over time, however, a person who is infected with HIV will never be able to rid themselves of the HIV virus. Indeed, once a person contracts HIV he or she will have it for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, HIV can remain undetected for years in human cells while it attacks critical parts of the human immune system: both the CD4 cells and the T-cells. These aforementioned cells are crucial for the healthy body to combat infections and disease, yet the HIV virus essentially invades and takes over them in order to deploy them to replicate itself prior to destroying them. Over a protracted period of time, HIV can destroy so many of critical human cells that the body can no longer effectively shield itself from any infectious disease. If that happens, the HIV infection can evolve into AIDS, or the final fatal stage of the HIV virus (CDC, 2006). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately fifty thousand people are infected or contract HIV each year, which contributes to the estimated 1.2 million people around the globe who are infected. More frightening is the fact that almost twenty percent of those who are infected are unaware of their condition (CDC, 2006). Medical experts have investigated the demographic disparities in HIV contraction. African Americans are the most likely demographic group to become infected with the virus, as experts estimate that they have the disease over eight times as much as other groups (CDC, 2015). Indeed, there are stark differences in HIV infected populations, as the disease, although its traverses various racial and groups, is largely idiosyncratic to locale and demographics.
Fortunately, not everyone who is infected with the HIV virus develops AIDS during their lifetime. Proper treatment, often termed antiretroviral therapy (ART), can help the human body maintain a low level of the HIV virus through the use of certain novel HIV medications in order to fight the virus. Indeed, HIV medications, if diligently taken, can exponentially increase the life span of an infected individual so that he or she can live a long and healthy life despite living with the virus. Such treatment also mitigates the risk of transmitting the disease to others through sex and other activities. Prior to the discovery an introduction of ART treatment during the 1990s, individuals infected with HIV often evolved into AIDS within a few short years. If a person has AIDS, it means that he or she have such damaged immune systems that they are at risk for OIs, or “opportunistic infections” (CDC, 2014). AIDS requires immediate medical attention because if gone untreated, it will cause death. Today, however, individuals diagnosed with HIV can be treated and get well taken care of prior to the disease advancing to a fatal stage. Technological advancements and medical innovations have enabled those living with this terrible disease to lead normal lives. Unfortunately, HIV still has no safe and effective cure. Nonetheless, scientists and medical experts alike continue to search for a cure and have time and again articulated their optimism that a cure will be found in the near future.
It is a herculean goal for local HIV prevention strategies to strive to carry out the vision of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: "The United States will become a place where new HIV infections are rare and when they do occur, every person, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic circumstance, will have unfettered access to high quality, life-extending care, free from stigma and discrimination" (). A viable strategy and plan to deal with this epidemic in Los Angeles County, which has approximate 58,000 people living with HIV and thus is the second largest epicenter for the HIV/AIDS epidemic, must articulate core values and principles that form its backbone (). Public health specialists recognize that the HIV epidemic disproportionately effects both gay men and heterosexual who engage in the down-low, meaning they secretly also have sex with men. Indeed, male and male sex is the primary way that HIV has spread in the county. In addition, HIV has adversely effected subaltern communities of color, especially African Americans and Latinos; young boys who have sex with other boys; the transgendered community; and non-white women. Cases of HIV that have recently been recorded shows that HIV transmission is escalating among young adults between the ages of twenty and twenty nine. As a result, Los Angeles County remains at a threshold because HIV incidents are still increasing. However, those living with HIV have reportedly live longer lives than those living with HIV did decades ago ("HIV/AIDS facts," 2010). In order to effectively combat this epidemic, Los Angeles County must design and implement newer paradigms and blueprints for testing, prevention tactics, links to adequate care and facilities, and care services in general. Public health officials have devised new strategies and planning tools such as geospatial analysis, which is an engineering technique that helps track the geographical distribution of the HIV virus (Kandwal et al., 2010); syndemic planning, which looks at epidemiology and its relationship with the overall health of the community as well as the ramifications of certain social conditions on individual and community health; more aggressive interventions and testing; and expanded efforts to identify HIV-positive individuals who have not been diagnosed with the virus.
Effective leadership necessitates effective communication skills, a clear view of how to implement the plan, as keen insight in order to come up with innovative solutions that cater to modern contingencies while also cultivating creativity as well as openness. Staff members and medical officials are charged with comporting themselves in a respectful manner so that they exude both integrity as well as dedication to the cause. Indeed, workplace environment is critical to the success of such public health programs, so staff members must exhibit optimism, productivity, and positivity. The goal of this strategy and education plan is to curtail the incidences of HIV and the adverse consequences that the potentially deadly virus entails. Supervision, monitoring, and assessment process are thus critical. Staff members are charged with these duties as well as allocating the necessary resources for the plan accordingly. Thus, collaboration will be a major aspect of this strategy in order to disseminate vital information in a celeritous fashion.
Health experts are also cognizant of the fact that health disparities and demographic idiosyncrasies are critical determinants of HIV and the spread of the virus in epidemic proportions. Because there are very limited resources, equity within the public health system is a major focus on this strategy. HIV prevention strategy has proven to work despite a litany of obstacles and challenges that have cropped up. Despite the fact that HIV studies are still in their nascent stages, there has been significant developments during the last three decades with regards to proven prevention strategies adopted to mitigate risks of contraction and/or transmission of the HIV virus. These strategies include HIV testing on a monthly basis; partnership services; interventions based on empirical data catered to those who are living with the virus; substance abuse treatment, antiretroviral therapy; abstinence; safe-sex precautions, and sexually transmitted disease screenings in order to treat any and all infectious diseases. Statistics show that since the 1980s, the transmission rate of the HIV virus has exponentially declined by almost ninety percent (Holtgrave et al. 2009, pp. 236-238).
This plan will target high-risk populations in order to stem the contraction and transmission rates in order to prioritize populations that require more prevention resources, constant supervision and consultations, frequent assessments, specific resource, and the coordination of partnerships and collaborative enterprises. Through this selective approach, this strategy will make a trenchant impact in stemming the tide of this epidemic. Unfortunately, HIV prevention strategies and plans have hitherto stalled as a result of economic obstacles at both the micro and macro levels. Moreover, with the recent passage and implementation of the Affordable Care Act, there is a renewed national interest in public health and health care that has opened up various avenues through which HIV prevention models can be researched and assessed. Such models would integrate both preventative measures as well as care. Indeed, the burgeoning field of prevention science has also opened up avenues through which HIV contraction and transmission can be sharply reduced and/or eradicated. Scientific advances have facilitated medical research in becoming updated according to shifting contingencies. As a result, medical researchers can better track epidemics such as HIV.
Centers for Disease Control (2006). CDC prevalence estimates--United States. MMWR, 57(39), 1073-1076.
HIV/AIDS facts and figures. (2010). Retrieved February 11, 2015, from http://www.aidslifecycle.org/about/hivstats.html
Holtgrave, D.R., Hall, H.I., Rhodes, P.H (2009). Updated annual HIV transmission rates in the United States, 1977-2006. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 50(2), 236- 239.
Kandwal, R., Augustijn, E.W., Stein, A., Miscione, G., Garg, P.K., & Garg, R.D. (2010). Geospatial analysis of HIVB-rlated social stigma: A study of tested females across Mandals of Andhra Pradesh in India. International Journal of Health Geographics, 9(18). Retrieved from http://www.ij-healthgeographics.com/content/9/1/18