Global HIV/AIDS Overview

Introduction

It could be stated with certainty that the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is one of the most prevalent and dangerous global health issues. As mentioned on the HIV.gov website, more than 1 million people in the United States are infected with HIV, and, among the infected population, one out of seven individuals are not aware of their condition (“U. S. statistics,” 2018). Considering the current situation with the disease under discussion in the world, it is possible to observe that it poses a significant threat to global health, as an estimated number of 36.7 million people is currently infected with HIV/AIDS as of the end of 2016 (“Global HIV/AIDS Overview,” 2018). Therefore, the importance of the problem could hardly be denied. This paper aims to investigate several areas of concern related to the chosen disease and to develop a meaningful conclusion on the impact of HIV on global health.

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Contributing Factors

There are numerous factors that are contributing to the spreading of the disease. Traditionally, these factors are studied in the context of determinants of health since this framework provides an efficient structure for the research. In the article by Santos, Pedrosa, Aquino, Lima, Cunha, and Galvão (2018) it is mentioned that the most important area of concern in the context of HIV is social determinants of health, which are defined as “a set of social, economic, cultural, psychological, ethnic/racial and behavioral factors that influence health” (p. 626). Therefore, such aspects as beliefs about sexual behavior, sexual practices, the social status of an individual along access to proper healthcare could be considered as the most notable contributing factors.

Prevention Strategies

Concerning the prevention strategies that currently exist, it is possible to observe that they are based on the contributing factors related to the disease to a significant extent. It is stated by Santos et al. (2018) that one of the most efficient means of reducing the negative effects of HIV spreading in the contemporary public sector is the provision of social support. Social support could be effectively practiced by the implementation of governmental initiatives on federal, state, and local levels, and it also could be provided by community-based interventions. therefore, one of the most efficient prevention strategies is the provision of social support campaigns and free diagnostic tests.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms related to HIV are significantly diverse as they largely depend on the particular stage of the condition. However, it is possible to identify the most prevalent symptoms that are observed in the majority of cases. According to the Mayo Clinic website, the signs that designate the initial stage of the infection’s progression are the following: fever, headache, joint pain, muscle aches, rash, sore throat, and swollen lymph glands (“HIV/AIDS,” 2018). It is considerably difficult to identify the disease at this stage since the symptoms might be so mild that people would not pay sufficient attention to them, or they could be mistaken for the symptoms of other diseases. As HIV progresses, the following symptoms also manifest themselves in addition to worsening of the previously mentioned signs: fatigue, diarrhea, weight loss, mouth infections, and shingles (“HIV/AIDS,” 2018).

Diagnostic Tests

As it is stated on the UCSF Health website, the most common and widely used diagnostic tests for HIV are blood tests as they can precisely detect the infection in the organism (“HIV diagnosis,” 2018). Particularly, it is mentioned that the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test is one of the most largely practiced tests in contemporary clinics (“HIV diagnosis,” 2018). However, its results of the ELISA test should be confirmed by performing the Western blot test (“HIV diagnosis,” 2018).

Advanced Practice Nursing Role and Management Strategies

The role of advanced practice nurses in the process of prevention and treatment of HIV is of high significance. As it is mentioned in the article by Bradley-Springer, Stevens, and Webb (2010), every nurse, including advanced practice professionals and community nurses, is responsible for the management of HIV spreading and the reduction of the disease’s negative impact on the public health sector. Data collecting, analysis of the gathered data, the implementation of treatment and diagnostic programs are areas of concern for advanced practice nurses.

Follow-up Care

Follow-up care is one of the most important aspects of treating HIV, for which advanced practice nurses are responsible. Considering the recent progress in the field of developing efficient HIV treatment medications, it is possible to state that patients who have access to proper treatment programs, can live normally for a significantly long time. However, the aspect of follow-up is immensely important because the HIV condition requires constant monitoring from a healthcare professional.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, it is appropriate to restate the evident significance of the disease under discussion. As statistics reveal, HIV continues to spread across the world, and one of the most important problems is that people often do not possess sufficient knowledge about modes of transmission, symptoms, and treatment of this condition. Therefore, it is essential to implement social support programs that would aim at decreasing health illiteracy in the identified area of concern. Overall, HIV could be effectively treated by contemporary medicine; however, more effort is needed in terms of spreading awareness about the disease.

References

Bradley-Springer, L., Stevens, L., & Webb, A. (2010). Every nurse is an HIV nurse. AJN The American Journal of Nursing, 110(3), 32-39.

Global HIV/AIDS Overview. (2018). Web.

HIV/AIDS. (2018). Web.

HIV diagnosis. (2018). Web.

Santos, V. D. F., Pedrosa, S. C., Aquino, P. D. S., Lima, I. C. V. D., Cunha, G. H. D., & Galvão, M. T. G. (2018). Social support of people with HIV/AIDS: The Social Determinants of Health Model. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem, 71, 625-630.

U.S. Statistics. (2017). Web.

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