Care Plan For HIV Patients

Creating a Plan of Care

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the most dangerous viruses that affect the work of the human immune system. According to the Office of Disease Prevention (2020), HIV infections create a solid background for a public health crisis. More than one million Americans live with HIV and its side effects (Office of Disease Prevention, 2020). Healthy People 2020 aims at controlling HIV outcomes in American society, reducing new infections reduction, and improving care access. This topic is selected because of the necessity to provide people with enough opportunities and knowledge about HIV and its impact on human health. The development of a holistic care plan and strategies for patients and families will help chronic illness groups understand HIV and deal with emerging issues.

Holistic Plan of Care

Being the representatives of the same illness group, patients vary in their acceptance of the diagnosis. Possible symptoms of HIV include chills, rash, muscle aches, and fatigue, and if a person observes some of them lasting for several days, it is high time to get tested (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). The next step to accept the diagnosis is to learn the disease and identify the most appropriate clinical and social approaches. It is important to inform families about the diagnosis because their role could be crucial for a patient. Communication with a nurse cannot be ignored as it helps succeed in care plan coping.

Literature Review

People with HIV understand that it is hard and usually impossible to recover from this disease. They try to find and use recommendations given by specialized professional organizations on how to develop and follow preventive strategies and facilitate routine activities due to the weakened immune system. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2018), males are in a higher risk group compared to females (about 33,000 men vs. about 8,000 women). In addition, African Americans and Latinx are the populations at risk (Glynn et al., 2019). In the United States, the most frequented diagnoses of HIV are observed in Louisiana, Georgia, and Miami due to its specific socio-economic and ethnic contexts (Glynn et al., 2019). The government of each state pays special attention to the protection of this chronic illness group.

The development of a holistic plan of care is predetermined by a variety of factors, and the analysis of symptoms is one of them. HIV was never a simple infection, and the same symptoms may affect a patient in a different way. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) admits that people could live with HIV without being aware of its possibility and consider their health changes (fatigue, mouth ulcers, and swollen lymph nodes) as flu. Disruption of skin, rashes, anxiety, and fear bother HIV patients, and it is necessary to find professional help and support.

Antiretroviral therapy is one of the common aspects of care for HIV. It includes taking drugs to suppress the growth of the HIV virus. However, the possibility of controlling the disease is also characterized by side effects. The case of the patient N.T. chosen for these weeks’ analysis shows that nausea, vomiting, and skin sensitivity may be developed. As a result, patients suffer from anxiety and depression because of the inability to follow another way and protect their body against associated weaknesses. When nurses observe some negative changes, additional pills are required to stability the emotional state of the patient.

In the United States, people have access to a number of initiatives supported by global organizations to help people with HIV and their families. For example, in Florida, “Know Your HIV Status” introduces information about available testing points to check if HIV is in the blood. “Getting to Zero” is offered to the citizens of Miami to increase their awareness about the disease and preventive means.

HIV may be acute and chronic, and healthcare providers continue working with the representatives of different groups to understand what clinical care plans and social support are necessary. Mental health services and screening are important for people diagnosed with HIV because this type of help stabilizes patients’ conditions and remove negative comorbidities or, at least, control them. Communication with nurses is another crucial step because it is a chance to observe the benefits of taking medications and discuss the quality of life with HIV. The analysis of the environmental factors cannot be ignored as many people who learn that they have HIV try to stay socially isolated and solve their problems on their own. The development of loving and caring relationships creates new strengths and hope about life and opportunities.

Nursing Diagnoses

Regarding the example of the patient N.T., such diagnoses as imbalanced nutrition, fatigue, and anxiety should be analyzed. Imbalanced nutrition may be related to nausea, vomiting, and the inabilities to metabolize nutrients and evidenced by the lack of interest in food and abnormal laboratory results. Anxiety may be related to change in health and socio-economic status and possibly evidenced by fear of unclear consequences and concerns about the future. Finally, fatigue may be related to metabolic and emotional changes and evidenced by poor concentration and social isolation.

Assessment Data

To create a plan of care, the assessment of the patient’s health is required as per gathered subjective and objective data. Subjective data includes evident symptoms (fatigue, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and depression), the history of the illness (diagnosis at the age of 22, antiretroviral therapy, and its side effects), and the awareness of the condition. Objective data contains the evaluation of the nutritional/respiratory/neurologic statuses, the condition of the skin, and the general assessment of vital signs.

Interview Results

It is necessary to clarify who was the author of the initiative to get tested for HIV. Nurses should learn the environment in which the patient is treated (family, friends, living conditions, and job). The next important aspect of the interview is to find out about emotions. HIV patients feel depressed and anxious about the inability to change the situation and fully recover. Several questions about sexual activities will help understand the level of the patient’s awareness of the disease and understanding of the health problem.

Desired Outcomes

To solve the problem of imbalanced nutrition, the desired outcomes are the removal of the signs of malnutrition and weight maintenance. Fatigue treatment is a list of complex actions that should result in improved physical activities and enough energy volume. The goals of an anxiety treatment plan are the development of problem-solving skills, emotional stabilization, and communication with family members, friends, and the healthcare team.

Evaluation Criteria

HIV tests aim at screening the body and identifying dangerous elements. A nucleic acid test (NAT) identifies if there are viral cells in the blood within the next week or month after an exposure (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). However, NATs are usually expensive, and not many organizations could offer it. Antigen tests (the identification of p24 antigen) are used to classify the stage of the disease and the appropriateness of care.

Actions and Interventions

To help patients predict nutritional misbalance, the control of bowel sounds, weight, and eating preferences is recommended. It is crucial to follow a diet because the weakened system cannot function properly. HIV patients take medications, and their side effects provoke digestive disorders. HIV-associated anxiety interventions include the provision of a favorable environment and confidentiality promotion. Fatigue is treated by means of scheduling activities, self-care, and goal-centered behaviors.

Evaluation of Patient Outcomes

In this topic discussion, the evaluation of HIV patient outcomes may be developed by several measures. First, the identification of the mortality rate will show if preventive methods are effective or not. Second, depression and anxiety tests will demonstrate if care plans help patients understand the disease and control the quality of life as per circumstances. Finally, readmission control is required to clarify if the offered clinical care plan is appropriate for the patient.


A comprehensive person-centered care plan is expected to support HIV-diagnosed people. Family members should participate in a treatment process due to their direct contact with a patient. First, communication must be underlined because HIV patients should get access to honest and open conversations with people their trust. Another strategy includes the encouragement of treatment, even if some negative outcomes cannot be overcome. HIV medications and therapies are never pleasant, and family members need to be ready to support and motivate the patients.


Nowadays, HIV patients have multiple options to prevent, diagnose, and treat the disease. Although no single cure is available, there are many treatment plans and people who could support and facilitate the condition. In this paper, attention was paid to HIV patients who should deal with imbalanced nutrition, fatigue, and anxiety as a result of HIV treatment with antiretroviral therapy. The role of families and friends cannot be ignored because effective motivation and encouragement play an important role in emotional healing.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Human immunodeficiency (HIV) diagnoses. CDC. Web.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). About HIV. CDC. Web.

Glynn, T. R., Safren, S. A., Carrico, A. W., Mendez, N. A., Duthely, L. M., Dale, S. K., Jones, D. L., Feaster, D. J., & Rodriguez, A. E. (2019). High levels of syndemics and their association with adherence, viral non-suppression, and biobehavioral transmission risk in Miami, a US city with an HIV/AIDS epidemic. AIDS and Behavior, 23(11), 2956-2965. Web.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2020). HIV. Healthy People. Web.

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