It is possible to state with certainty that population-based communicable diseases are one of the most important negative contributors to public health on federal, state, and local levels. Among this large diverse group of illnesses, sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS are of immensely high significance. Accordingly, there are numerous attempts at decreasing the adverse impact of these diseases. This paper aims to analyze three population-based communicable diseases on the basis of the epidemiological and surveillance data of Miami, Florida in order to develop a plan of action.
Overview of the Healthy People 2020 Initiative
As it was previously mentioned, various programs are developed with the purpose of decreasing the negative effects of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS on public health. Among such programs, it is possible to mention the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) initiative, which is held by the US government. The primary goal of the HP2020 program is to develop a set of objectives aimed at the improvement of public health in various spheres.
Three particular diseases of interest were chosen: AIDS, gonorrhea, and syphilis. HIV infection is one of the prevalent causes of mortality and morbidity in contemporary society, while gonorrhea and syphilis are among the most widespread sexually transmitted diseases, which has a large negative impact on the health of infected people (“HIV,” 2018; “Sexually transmitted diseases,” 2018). Accordingly, HP2020 aims “to promote healthy sexual behaviors, to increase access to quality services, and to strengthen community capacity” (“Sexually transmitted diseases,” 2018, para. 1). In general, the magnitude of the problem is evidently supported.
Data on Epidemiology and Surveillance
Further, as the previous section discussed the overall importance of the problem within the context of the HP2020 initiative, it is essential to focus on the exploration of the epidemiological and surveillance data from Miami, Florida. In the most recent monthly report, provided by the Florida Department of Health, it is stated that the AIDS incidence rate decreased significantly, as it was 465 cases in 2016 and 372 in 2017 (“Miami-Dade monthly diseases report,” 2017).
It could be noted that this positive tendency is largely determined by the efficient work of the HIV surveillance services in Florida, which include community organizations, researchers, policymakers, caregivers, city planners, and local officials and agencies (“HIV surveillance,” 2018). However, gonorrhea and syphilis incidence rates are less optimistic, as the number of gonorrhea-infected people increased from 1975 to 3056 in two years (“Miami-Dade monthly diseases report,” 2017). Syphilis incidence rates do not increase significantly, but there is no positive tendency either.
Plan of Action
As the statistical data on the topic of interest was observed, it is essential to employ it in order to develop a comprehensive plan of action. According to Castel, Magnus, and Greenberg (2015), AIDS is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States, and thus it should be analyzed. Healthy People 2020 initiative sets the following objectives: “to reduce new HIV infections, to increase HIV testing and prevention of HIV risk, to increase access to care, and to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV” (“HIV,” 2018). Each of these objectives comprises more specific goals.
Several community prevention services of Miami, Florida that support the HP2020 initiative should be mentioned. The Business Responds to AIDS (BRTA) is a domestic public-private partnership that aims to reduce stigma and discrimination, enhance personal commitment, and promote education about the disease (“Community prevention,” 2018). Additionally, there is the Faith Responds to AIDS initiative, the Sistas Organizing to Survive (this organization encourages black women to get tested and spread awareness), and the Miami Collaborative MSM Workgroup (“Community prevention,” 2018). Also, it is vital to inform the patients about non-AIDS complications of HIV infections since they are less known among the population (Castro, Granovsky, Jones, & Weiss, 2015).
Both gonorrhea and syphilis are sexually transmitted, thus everyone who is sexually active is exposed to the risk of incidence. Both of the illnesses can cause severe complications if they are not appropriately treated, but with adequate medication, they can be cured easily. Thus, it is also essential to prevent these diseases.
According to the HP2020 initiative, the following objectives are set: “to reduce gonorrhea rates among males and females aged 15 to 44 years, to reduce sustained domestic transmission of primary and secondary syphilis, and to reduce congenital syphilis” (“Sexually transmitted diseases,” 2018). It is essential for the community to help the government in fighting the illnesses because the population significantly suffers from the spreading of STD. The most important action is community-based education and awareness spreading about the diseases.
In conclusion, several principal aspects should be observed. Firstly, the Healthy People 2020 initiative is one of the most important health policies which are held by the government. However, community support is also of critical importance. Secondly, it is possible to notice that the Florida Department of Health obtained significant success in decreasing AIDS rates, which is partially due to the work of community prevention services. Nevertheless, the trends of new gonorrhea and syphilis infections are less positive, and they are to be improved.
Castel, A. D., Magnus, M., & Greenberg, A. E. (2015). Update on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS in the USA. Current Epidemiology Reports, 2(2), 110-119.
Castro, J. G., Granovsky, I., Jones, D., & Weiss, S. M. (2015). STD clinic patients’ awareness of non-AIDS complications of HIV infection. Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, 14(3), 207-210.
Community prevention. (2018). Web.
HIV. (2018). Web.
HIV surveillance. (2018). Web.
Miami-Dade monthly diseases report. (2017). Web.
Sexually transmitted diseases. (2018). Web.