HIV Prevention Campaign for American Young Adults

Abstract

The campaign addresses the issue of HIV prevention among young adults living in the USA. The paper incorporates several important elements that are necessary for the successful explanation of the project’s rationale. The first topic discussed is the enforcement of policies affecting the target population’s health. It is mentioned that two sets of laws are relevant to the problem of HIV: those related to substance use and the promotion of safe sex practices. The next issue included in the paper is the provision of the necessary care to the target group. It is noted that testing the target population on HIV in clinical settings and providing young adults with access to care can increase the positive effect of the campaign. Other parts of the paper discuss the ways of guaranteeing the competency of the workforce and the evaluation of the selected public issue. The emphasis in these aspects is on training employees and analyzing statistical data, which will ensure the best outcomes for the target population. In the conclusion, the main ideas of the campaign are identified, and the main requirements for the healthcare professional are reiterated.

Introduction

The present paper aims at describing the peculiarities of a public health campaign on preventing HIV in young adults living in the USA. This health issue is rather severe since there is currently no treatment for it. The choice of the target population is explained by the high predisposition of this group of people to HIV due to their sex life behaviors and frequent cases of substance abuse. The paper will discuss the specifications of law enforcement, care provision, and workforce competency assurance. Also, the ways of evaluating the issue from the public health professional will be offered.

The Enforcement of Laws Impacting the Target Population’s Health

HIV is a severe disease that can be developed as a result of unsafe sexual habits or drug use. Thus, the public health professional can use law enforcement strategies used in controlling sex and drug abuse to prevent the spread of HIV. Current evidence on these unsafe practices indicates that it is crucial to combine the efforts of healthcare and legal practices when dealing with the problems of HIV (Strathdee, Beletsky, & Kerr, 2015). In particular, scholars note that over the past decade, nine effective interventions on HIV prevention due to sterile syringe programs have been implemented (Strathdee et al., 2015). These projects are based on laws eliminating access to certain medical substances, which leads to a decreased level of HIV spread. Thus, the public health nurse could use this tactic to help promote HIV prevention in the target population.

Another current article dedicated to the problem of HIV discusses the significance of safe sex practices (Hoppe, 2013). Since this issue is acute in the process of preventing HIV, the public health professional could use laws employed for formal social control. Particularly, any individual knowing that he or she has HIV is obliged to inform the potential sexual partner about the disease (Hoppe, 2013). The public health nurse could enforce such laws when preventing HIV in young adults. By doing so, it will be possible to avoid the spread of the disease and save the lives of the target group members.

The Provision of Care Affecting the Target Population

It is important to provide the target population with the necessary care and support due to the severity of the disease that is to be prevented. An example of how the public health professional could offer such care is the use of WHO guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care (Baggaley, Armstrong, Dodd, Ngoksin, & Krug, 2015). The selected population group is under a high risk of developing HIV. Thus, it is crucial to increase their awareness by providing the necessary care despite such barriers as poor service provision and insufficient access to care of some young people (Baggaley et al., 2015). Another example of public health nurses’ activity is testing the target population on HIV in clinical settings (Marrazzo et al., 2014). With the help of this measure, healthcare professionals will promote the target population’s awareness of HIV and increase the opportunities for a timely diagnosis.

The Assurance of the Competent Workforce

It is vital not only to come up with effective law enforcement and care provision strategies but also to arrange the successful work of professionals participating in the HIV prevention program. With this aim, the public health nurse needs to make sure that the workforce responsible for HIV prevention in the target group is competent and highly skilled. An example of assuring the quality of the workforce’s efforts is arranging work-based training (Matovu et al., 2013). With the help of educating and instructing healthcare employees, it is possible to reach the highest level of their proficiency. Another effective solution is making sure that healthcare professionals engaged in the HIV prevention program are not overloaded with work and have equal access to resources (Weiser et al., 2016). By arranging suitable conditions of work and the improvement of skills, the public health professional will ensure that the workforce engaged in the campaign is competent and dedicated.

The Assessment of the Selected Public Health Issue

The evaluation of the impact of HIV on the target population will be performed with the help of the information available both from scholarly and statistical sources and the program’s outcomes. Some of the most relevant data on this issue are offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“HIV among youth,” 2018). In particular, nearly eight and a half thousand cases of new HIV diagnoses in the US occurred in young people in 2016 (“HIV among youth,” 2018). The majority of such cases were among men who have sex with other men (“HIV among youth,” 2018). Approximately half of these occurrences were among African American youth (“HIV among youth,” 2018). Thus, the public health professional can assess the impact of HIV on the most vulnerable groups of the target population with the help of available data and by comparing the results of the prevention campaign to the national statistics.

Conclusion

The paper presents an overview of the public health campaign aimed at preventing HIV among US young adults. The knowledge and integrative abilities of a public health professional necessary for the successful completion of such a project are outlined. In particular, ways of improving the workforce’s competency and assessing the issue are described. It is noted that skills can be enhanced through the work-based training. Law enforcement is outlined as a crucial aspect of reaching the objectives of the campaign. By combining all of the mentioned efforts, the public health professional will be able to reduce the occurrence of HIV in the target population group.

References

Baggaley, A. A., Armstrong, A., Dodd, Z., Ngoksin, E., & Krug, A. (2015). Young key populations and HIV: A special emphasis and consideration in the new WHO consolidated guidelines on HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care for key populations. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 18(Suppl. 1), 85-88.

HIV among youth. (2018). Web.

Hoppe, T. (2013). Controlling sex in the name of “public health”: Social control and Michigan HIV law. Social Problems, 60(1), 27-49.

Marrazzo, J. M., del Rio, C., Holtgrave, D. R., Cohen, M. S., Kalichman, S. C., Mayer, K. H., … Benson, C. A. (2014). HIV prevention in clinical care settings: 2014 recommendations of the International Antiviral Society-USA Panel. JAMA, 312(4), 390-409.

Matovu, J. K. B., Wanyenze, R. K., Mawemuko, S., Okui, O., Bazeyo, W., & Serwadda, D. (2013). Strengthening health workforce capacity through the work-based training. BMC International and Human Rights, 13(1), n.p.

Strathdee, S. A., Beletsky, L., & Kerr, T. (2015). HIV, drugs, and the legal environment. International Journal of Drug Policy, 26, S27-S32.

Weiser, J., Beer, L., West, B. T., Duke, C. C., Gremel, G. W., & Skarbinski, J. (2016). Qualifications, demographics, satisfaction, and future capacity of the HIV care provider workforce in the United States, 2013–2014. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 63(7), 966-975.