Several factors feature prominently in this scenario concerning the overall health of the patient. First, the patient’s state of depression is a result of various misconceptions. The patient is misinformed based on her biophysical characterization of herself when she thinks that her shift in sexuality changes her health priorities. This misinformation also appeals to the patient’s psychological outlook because she appears to mix health and social issues.
The patient’s social-cultural outlook has been heavily influenced by various past events in her life including the death of both her husband and her mother due to cancer-related illnesses. The patient’s behavior appears to be influenced by her lack of health insurance cover and her sexuality-related anxiety. The patient’s age is also another factor that should be considered when gauging her health system. The fact that the patient is acting preemptively towards her health concerns is a positive element in the consideration of overall community health.
There are several actions that a healthcare professional can take to provide more sensitive and effective care for women who are lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (LBT). First, professionals should familiarize themselves with the historical discrimination and oppression that has been directed towards these groups. This understanding will equip individuals with the sensitivity that is necessary to improve patient care of LBT patients.
For instance, hospitals should take the initiative to post materials that declare their staff’s non-discrimination policy. Healthcare professionals should also desist from making assumptions that are based on LBT stereotypes. It is also important for healthcare professionals to “provide information and guidance for the specific health concerns of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender (LGBT) patients” (Coker, & Schuster, 2010, p. 460). To improve LBGT patient care, healthcare professionals need to create an environment that is welcoming to this category of patients.
Betty has a wide array of health concerns that require the intervention of a community health nurse. First, there is the issue of depression, which is both a symptom of underlying issues and a treatable condition in itself. The nurse can do two things concerning Betty’s depression. The nurse can take Betty through various tests with the view of alleviating her insecurities. Consequently, if Betty’s fears are unfounded the nurse should refer her to a psychiatrist. The community health nurse should also take it upon him/herself to provide Betty with LGBT health literature (Lee, 2000). Finally, the nurse should inform Betty about health insurance options that may be available to her. Having a health insurance cover is likely to ease Betty’s fears and depression.
The problem of higher incidences of HIV among gay men in our community coincides with national trends where sexual orientation is an important factor. To address this problem at the population level, the stakeholders can launch an outreach program that can reach even the most marginalized communities. The outreach program can involve consequential exercises such as improving access to testing kits.
On the treatment stage, it is important for healthcare specialists to link all the infected persons to care and treatment (Catania, & Choi, 2011). For instance, increasing infected individuals’ access to antiretroviral treatment should be a priority when planning for HIV intervention strategies among marginalized gay men. Another fruitful strategy includes creating awareness programs that sensitize gay men concerning ‘sexual risk behaviors’. This intervention strategy would help in reducing the number of new HIV infections among the targeted populations.
There is a need to obtain additional information in regards to instituting intervention measures against the spread of HIV among risk groups. First, it is important to know the previous rates of infection among the three ethnicities. Consequently, it will be important to find out where intervention is most required. For example, the rates of infection among one of these identified demographics might be declining as a result of earlier intervention measures.
It is also important to source additional statistics from state or national databases. These statistics should be correlated with those from the local community to assess any disparities between the two sets of data. Information from other HIV prevention organizations can also be useful to the local healthcare stakeholders (Frosch, Shoptaw, & Ling, 2006). This information will give community nurses insights into effective methods of combating HIV among local groups.
When curbing the spread of HIV among Caucasian, Latino, and African American men, it is important to involve other sub-demographics. Statistics indicate that a significant number of the incarcerated population in the country consists of these three demographics. Therefore, it would be prudent to involve the male incarcerated population in HIV intervention strategies. Another vital group in the intervention against HIV is sex workers.
The number of male sex workers in the country is on the rise and this demographic is important to the success of HIV intervention (Catania, & Choi, 2011). The economically disadvantaged population is also vital to the eradication of HIV among gay men. The economically disadvantaged portion of the population lacks access to resources that might alleviate the risk of HIV and AIDS. Habitual drug users should also be a target population in the efforts to prevent and manage HIV among at-risk groups.
Catania, J. A., & Choi, K. H. (2011). The continuing HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men. American Journal of Public Health, 91(6), 907-908.
Coker, T. R., & Schuster, M. A. (2010). The health and health care of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. Annual Review of Public Health, 31, 457-477.
Frosch, D., Shoptaw, S., & Ling, W. (2006). Sexual HIV risk among gay and bisexual male methamphetamine abusers. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 13(6), 483-486.
Lee, R. (2000). Health care problems of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender patients. Western Journal of Medicine, 172(6), 403.