HIV is one of the deadliest viruses, threatening individual life since it attacks the immune system. It weakens the individual immune system, thus leaving an individual vulnerable to opportunistic diseases. The cure for this virus has not yet been identified. Thus, reducing the transmission of this virus is the currently available option while minimizing its impacts on the already affected population. Florida is one of the states greatly affected by the virus in the United States. Florida reported the highest number of new cases in the united states and other states.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is the third state with the highest infection rate; in 2019, Florida reported about 4,400 new cases (Harris et al., 2019). As per the most recent data obtained from the federal agency for HIV Surveillance report, the Florida infection rate averages out to 23.7 cases per 100,000 people (Harris et al., 2019). The state also reported 692 deaths linked to HIV. This data indicates that Florida is well above the United States national average, out to 13. The HIV diagnosis rate per 100,000 among the black community decreased from 57.8 in 2018 to 53.2 in 2019 (Bowen et al., 2019). This trend was also observed among the Latino or Hispanic community. The virus’s diagnosis rate per 100,000 people decreased from 29.7 in 2018 to 29.2 in 2019 (Bowen et al., 2019).
There are a lot of concerns as the state fails to persuade people to embrace the utilization of condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis, a daily medication whose utilization targets high-risk people, for instance, youth, which significantly reduces the risk of contracting the virus. According to the Journal of American medical association, pre-exposure prophylaxis can prevent HIV transmission by 90 percent of men who have sex with other men and 70 percent of illicit drug users who share items such as needles for injecting these illicit drugs (Steiner et al., 2018). In 2018, only about 8 percent of Florida inhabitants used the drugs, estimated to be around 121 000 people, compared to New York’s 30 percent utilization (Griswold et al., 2018).
The virus is widely common among black people, Hispanics, and gay men in Florida. According to the 2019 HIV surveillance, 60 percent of the Florida gay men were diagnosed with the infection (Harris et al., 2019). Black and Hispanic people also accounted for 74 percent of the new cases in the state as per the surveillance by the Florida Department of health. Thus, there is a need for population-based health education intervention among gay men, black, and Hispanic people within the state to aid in curbing the spread of this infection.
Population-Based Health Education Interventions
The HIV prevention programs are currently undertaking the funding process of non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations. The prevention program also helps by funding the local county health departments to implement evidence-based virus prevention among people, for instance, black, Hispanic, and gay men who are a high prevalence of the infection in the county (Algarin et al., 2019). The evidence-based interventions include a behavioral change that requires education of the masses about the virus and utilization of scientific and structural interventions to potentially reduce the spread of the virus in Florida.
The HIV prevention agencies acquire their funding from the Department of the HIV Prevention grant from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The agencies funded conduct various activities, such as educating the masses through awareness creation, testing the masses, and the prevention intervention for the people affected with the virus and high-risk individuals with a negative status (Algarin et al., 2019). The funding given to this institution targets facilitating the operations initiated by this institution to curb the spread of the virus.
Interventions for Behavioral Changes
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is working with locals to distribute educational materials under the banner “undetectable is equivalent to untransmittable.” They highlight how antiretroviral medication suppresses the viral load in the individual affected by the virus (Eisinger, Dieffenbach & Fauci, 2019). Low virus levels help lower the risk of further transmission of the virus from person to person through sexual intercourse, sharing of piercing objects, and from mother to child during pregnancy (Algarin et al., 2019). The behavioral change intervention in Florida has been met with resistance caused by homelessness, poverty, and substandard housing.
This forces the funded HIV prevention agencies first to help people stabilize their lives first to better care for their health. The HIV-funded agencies have employed other strategies, such as opening up sexual health centers to help people with housing and other social services. They educate them about the virus, and they eventually get tested in the process. The intervention data currently being tracked by the HIV surveillance team in Florida include adherence to the medication and embracing pre-exposure prophylaxis among high-risk individuals.
Interventions for the People Already Infected
The major objective for this intervention among the already infected Hispanic, black, and gay men is to improve the health outcome for this population by mainly focusing on educating these people on how to live with the virus and the HIV range of care. The interventions of the people already infected are to prevent further transmissions, re-engage with the already affected, promote medication and adherence to the drug use viral suppression, and provide them with the support they might need to cope with their present condition.
Interventions for High-Risk Negatives
This is highly needed to prevent or control the further spread of the virus. It is a priority for any HIV prevention program. The high-risk behavior that requires interventions includes unprotected sex and sharing piercing objects, such as needles. Drug abuse is a common practice among black and Hispanic thus, and it needs much attention to help curb the spread of HIV among races. In preventing the spread of the virus among high-risk negative individual, education is required to help promote healthy ways of living and prevent the spread of myths and misconceptions about some of the prevention measures already identified.
The prevention among high-risk individuals, such as Hispanic, black, and gay men, includes pre-exposure prophylaxis. This biomedical intervention needs to be accompanied by educational interventions for people to embrace it. The high-risk individual also needs to be trained on the proper methods of utilizing condoms while engaging in sexual activities to prevent exposure to the virus. The purpose of these educational interventions for high-risk individuals is to bring about a behavioral change and clear the air about some myths associated with the interventions to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus from infected individuals to HIV-negative individuals.
HIV is one of the most life-threatening viruses, weakening the individual immune system, thus leaving an individual vulnerable to opportunistic diseases. Reducing the transmission of this virus is a currently available option, as the cure for this virus has not yet been identified. There are many concerns as Florida fails to persuade people to embrace the utilization of condoms and pre-exposure prophylaxis, a daily medication whose utilization targets high-risk people, for instance, youth which significantly reduces the risk of contracting the virus. Prevention of the spread of this virus requires education of the masses and a collaborative intervention between the government and the locals.
Algarin, A. B., Zhou, Z., Cook, C. L., Cook, R. L., & Ibañez, G. E. (2019). Age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation: Intersectionality of marginalized-group identities and enacted HIV-related stigma among people living with HIV in Florida. AIDS and Behavior, 23(11), 2992-3001.
Bowen, V.B., Braxton, J., Davis, D.W., Flagg, E.W., Grey, J., Grier, L., Harvey, A., Kidd, S., Kreisel, K., Llata, E. & Mauk, K. (2019). Sexually transmitted disease surveillance 2018. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Web.
Eisinger, R. W., Dieffenbach, C. W., & Fauci, A. S. (2019). HIV viral load and transmissibility of HIV infection: undetectable equals untransmittable. Jama, 321(5), 451-452.
Griswold, M.G., Fullman, N., Hawley, C., Arian, N., Zimsen, S.R., Tymeson, H.D., Venkateswaran, V., Tapp, A.D., Forouzanfar, M.H., Salama, J.S. and Abate, K.H. (2018). Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. The Lancet, 392(10152), 1015-1035.
Harris, N.S., Johnson, A.S., Huang, Y.L.A., Kern, D., Fulton, P., Smith, D.K., Valleroy, L.A. & Hall, H.I., (2019). Vital signs: status of human immunodeficiency virus testing, viral suppression, and HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis—United States, 2013–2018. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 68(48), 1117.
Steiner, R. J., Liddon, N., Swartzendruber, A. L., Pazol, K., & Sales, J. M. (2018). Moving the message beyond the methods: Toward an integration of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection/HIV prevention. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 54(3), 440-443.