Treatment for a Patient With HIV

Introduction

HIV is a chronic illness that can pose significant problems in a person’s life. In the United States, 1.2 million people live with this diagnosis (Basic statistics, 2020). Noteworthy, new infections are most often reported among young people. Higher mental disease rates characterize this age group, while mental health problems are a typical concomitant illness in HIV. This paper aims to describe the information collected about the person with HIV, analyze responses to the questionnaire, describe the treatment and coping techniques, and explain how this will direct the care plan development.

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Information Collected

N.T. was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 22; she decided to take the test after learning about her boyfriend’s illness. After the diagnosis, her life changed dramatically; in addition to the disease’s immediate symptoms, such as chronic fatigue and low immunity, she faced antiretroviral therapy’s daily side effects. These are nausea, vomiting, increased nervous system sensitivity, and increased skin sensitivity to external stimuli. Besides, like many other patients who first learn about their diagnosis, N.T. suffered from anxiety and depression. At first, it was difficult for her to accept the diagnosis and move on. However, thanks to family and friends’ support, N.T. agreed to start treatment and is doing well.

Adverse symptoms of nausea and vomiting usually develop in patients only at the beginning of antiretroviral therapy, or when the course is interrupted and then resumed. Since N.T. interrupted the course of treatment, she had to go through complications associated with the initial severe side effects twice. Subsequently, doctors developed a comprehensive treatment for her, including antiretroviral therapy drugs, drugs that prevent side effects, and pills to stabilize the emotional background.

N.T. mainly complained that pills aimed at eliminating mental illness made her excessively apathetic and reduced concentration. Besides, N.T. was anxious that the symptoms of the disease prevent her from finding a job. Already aware of her diagnosis, N.T. decided to give birth to a child who turned out to be healthy. Childcare had a positive effect on N.T. and gave her a new meaning in life. However, she also worried that her apathy could negatively affect the child despite stabilizing her emotional and mental state.

N.T.’s parents support her morally and financially, but she does not live with them, staying in her aunt’s apartment with a child. The aunt was not too excited about N.T.’s moving in, but she is also supportive nonetheless. N.T. is looking for a stable job that she can do at home, since, despite antiretroviral therapy’s effectiveness, her immunity is worse than that of ordinary people, and she is more susceptible to viral infections. Typical flu or cold can cause severe complications, so it is undesirable for her to visit crowded places.

Questionnaire Analysis

Considering the answers to the questionnaire, it is likely that at first, neither the family nor N.T. herself believed that she had mental health problems. N.T. initially refused the help of a psychologist at a medical facility specializing in treating HIV patients, as she admitted that visiting this place caused her heavy feelings. However, she later began to think about accepting psychological help or finding a psychotherapist outside the medical facility. N.T. noted that since she had to change her lifestyle, she now does not have many friends, and it is not always possible to discuss her problems with someone.

N.T.’s well-being was also significantly influenced by her inability to earn money and maintain independence. This issue became especially acute when N.T.’s parents started to have financial problems. Fortunately, N.T. and her family accepted the diagnosis and immediately began treatment; her condition quickly became stable. However, after interrupting and resuming treatment, N.T. understands that she is entirely dependent on taking medications, and if she stops complex treatment, her condition will immediately worsen.

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In particular, N.T. tried to stop taking drugs that stabilize the emotional background. Even though she noted improvements in concentration and interest in life, irritability and depression returned to her. N.T. decided to continue treatment with antiretroviral therapy, which helps her cope with the disease, and take drugs to neutralize therapy’s side effects. However, she would like to finish the treatment for anxiety and depression as soon as possible to bring back the joy in life.

Coping Skills, Treatment, and Support Aspects of the Illness

Treatment for N.T., which the medical institution offers her, is comprehensive and includes the intake of antiretroviral drugs, drugs that reduce side effects, and drugs that stabilize the emotional background. Besides, N.T. was offered the help of a psychotherapist; she refused, but later changed her mind. However, she prefers to undergo psychotherapy in a more pleasant place. Nonetheless, N.T. had a one-time consultation with a psychotherapist who works with patients diagnosed with HIV in the hospital. She was recommended to go out every day, spend time in parks, get enough sleep, and make sure that as much sunlight as possible penetrates her home. The doctor also developed a balanced diet for N.T., including the products that support immunity and reduce side effects, and banning certain foods from the ration.

N.T. also had another consultation with a psychotherapist when she decided whether to give birth to a child. She was explained that the likelihood of infection from mother to child is low when taking antiretroviral drugs during pregnancy and when the delivery is carried out according to a procedure that considers the risk of disease. HIV can also be transmitted through breastfeeding, which is forbidden as well. N.T. receives support from her family and tries to communicate with family members as often as possible not to feel lonely. Raising a child gives meaning to N.T.’s life; she is a good and caring mom. N.T. also admitted that it was vital for her to cope with maternal responsibilities on her own, even in the most challenging periods, when the child was still very young.

Care Plan Development for the Chosen Illness Group

A care plan is usually developed for patients with chronic conditions to improve their overall health of patients. A care plan for patients with chronic illnesses should entail the patient’s consent and ensure 24/7 assessment to physicians and other qualified clinical staff (Chronic care management services, 2019). Besides, the patient must be provided with a copy of the care plan and have access to electronic data. A comprehensive care plan should be person-centered, based on physical, mental, cognitive, psychosocial, functional, and environmental assessment and reassessment (Chronic care management services, 2019). Therefore, the care plan should offer treatment for all health issues, with a particular focus on managing chronic conditions.

When developing a care plan for HIV patients, the most common symptoms should be considered. First, treatment should be aimed at reducing fatigue, acute and chronic pain, disruption of skin integrity, disruption of the oral mucosa, impaired thought processes, anxiety, and fear (Matt, 2019). The nurse should also develop a balanced diet, recommendations aimed at overcoming social isolation, and increase the patient’s knowledge of the disease (Matt, 2019). Finally, it is essential to cope with potential symptoms such as weakness, risk of injury, risk of infection, and low fluid volume risk.

N.T. was provided with comprehensive medical care within the care plan for the symptoms she showed. In particular, she took tablets that reduce fatigue, acute and chronic pain, skin sensitivity, eliminate oral mucosa disorders, and medications that restore impaired thought processes, anxiety, and fear. For N.T., a diet was developed, she was advised on overcoming social isolation and given plenty of information about the disease. When creating a care plan for HIV patients, risks of common opportunistic infections and HIV-related cancers should be considered. Noteworthy, these diseases usually affect people with a severely suppressed immune function who do not receive antiretroviral therapy (Common opportunistic infections and HIV-related cancers, 2019). Fortunately, N.T. started treatment immediately after diagnosis and is, therefore is not in the risk group.

Conclusion

Thus, the information collected about the person with HIV was described, responses to the questionnaire were analyzed, the treatment and coping techniques, and the care plan development were explained. It was found that when creating the care plan, the nurse should consider the information about the patient, his acceptance of the diagnosis and conscientiousness in undergoing treatment, and the symptoms the patient is showing. For therapy to be most successful, it must be comprehensive, offer treatment for all health issues, and primarily focus on managing chronic conditions.

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References

Basic statistics. (2020). Web.

Chronic care management services. (2019). Web.

Common opportunistic infections and HIV-related cancers. (2019). Web.

Matt, V. (2019) 13 AIDS (HIV positive) nursing care plans. Web.

Appendix

HIV Patient Questionnaire

Question Yes No Not willing to answer
Was it your initiative to get tested for HIV? +
Did anyone accompany you when getting tested for HIV? +
Do you have unobstructed access to HIV-related resources? +
Did you feel anxiety or anger after being diagnosed with HIV? +
If yes, was it a one-time occurrence? +
Is the confidentiality of the test results crucial to you? +
Do you consider HIV to be a severe health condition? +
Do you have anyone you trust and can speak with about your diagnosis? +
Were you given any further instructions after being diagnosed? +
Do you personally know anyone with a positive HIV test? +
Do you have any idea regarding how you may help this person? +
Do you have paid medical insurance? +
Do you have unprotected sex only with a regular partner? +
Did you have any issues with getting a meal last week? +
Do you have a stable job? +
If yes, do you consider your job to be well-paid? +
Do you have stable housing? +
Did you have any issues with paying for your bills last month? +
Are any other family members working? +
If yes, do they have a well-paid job? +
Do you have a concise plan regarding your further treatment? +
Are you willing to consider comprehensive treatment offered by your medical provider? +
Would you accept an offer to receive psychological support? +
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