Complications that define AIDS discussion

communicable disease for discussion is HIV. HIV is the precursor to AIDS and is a virus with possible origins within the monkeys and chimp population of Africa. Some humans in certain areas of Africa ate these animals and may have been exposed to the virus where it transformed into aids. Because of HIV’s ability to destroy CD4 cells, a particular kind of white blood cell, which plays a big part in aiding the body fight illness, it severely weakens a person’s immune system. Eventually, it can progress to AIDS. This happens when an individual’s CD4 count goes below 200 or experience complications that define AIDS like tuberculosis.

Transmission of HIV comes from infected semen, blood, or vaginal secretions that must enter a person’s body. Ordinary contact does not result in infection like hugging, dancing, or kissing a person with HIV. HIV cannot be transmitted through water, insect bites, or air. It can be transmitted through blood transfusions, sharing needles, or having sex. If a mother is HIV positive, the baby can get it through the process of breast-feeding or delivery.

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The symptoms of HIV are similar to that of a flu-like disease and appear typically within a month or two after the virus enters a host. Acute HIV infection lasts for a few weeks. The symptoms of acute HIV are: headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, rash, sore throat, genital or mouth ulcers, swollen lymph glands occurring mainly on the neck, night sweats, diarrhea, and joint pain. HIV can present as a clinical latent infection and this kind of infection lasts for up to eight to ten years. Some stay longer in a stage others do not. Early signs are weight loss, cough, and fatigue.

The population at highest risk for developing HIV are black people, specifically black women. In addition, people who use drugs intravenously may be more at risk for HIV development. Those that have unprotected sex may develop sores that could expose them to higher risk for HIV. Lastly, men without circumcised penises have higher chances for developing HIV when having unprotected sex.

Common complications seen in people with HIV are infections due to the weakened immune system. Tuberculosis, in resource-deprived nations, is the most frequently experienced infection associated with HIV and a leading cause of mortality in people with AIDS. In fact, TB and AIDS appear as epidemics as both affect millions at the same time.

Another infection may come in the form of salmonellosis. This bacterial infection comes from contaminated food and water. A herpes virus like Cytomegalovirus is another possible complication as well as Candidiasis. Children with HIV commonly experience Candidiasis.

A potentially deadly infection, Toxoplasmosis comes from a parasite residing in cays. This infection typically affects HIV patients. Cancers are also common to HIV / AIDS patients. Kaposi’s sarcoma is one of them as well as lymphomas. Other complications are kidney disease, wasting syndrome, neurological complications, and flus.

Treatments and drugs help slow or alleviate HIV / AIDS symptoms. However, there is no present cure for the disease. The classes of anti-HIV drugs include Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs). This class of drug disables a protein HIV needs in order to produce copies of itself. Some examples of this treatment include efavirenz (Sustiva) and nevirapine (Viramune). Another class of drugs similar to NNRTIs are Nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). This class of drug produce faulty forms of construction blocks that HIV needs in order to replicate. Examples of this class of drug are Abacavir (Ziagen), and the blend of emtricitabine and tenofovir (Truvada). Another form of treatment are Protease inhibitors (PIs). This class of drug affects protease, another protein the disease uses to replicate itself. Examples of this drug include atazanavir (Reyataz), and ritonavir (Norvir).

2. As previously stated, those at higher risk for the diseases are those that come across other’s blood, semen, or vaginal secretions frequently. Because HIV affects the immune system, those infected have to keep their immune systems strong in order to combat any possible infections and slow the progression of the disease. Some people have a naturally weak immune system and provide an excellent environment for HIV to replicate, therefore advancing the disease. Others have stronger immune systems and can live as carriers, while still being healthy for the rest of their lives.

Determinants of health may come from nutrition. People that have access to a variety of whole foods will get the adequate nutrition needed to promote healthy immune function. Those that are older may have already weakened immune systems, therefore putting them at greater risk. Those that already have other infections or illnesses and develop HIV may get worse and have serious complications. Again, it all relates to the state of their immune system. The stronger the immune system, the better the outcome of the person who develops HIV.

3. The epidemiologic triangle of a disease typically contains three columns: the agent, host as well as environment columns. The other aspect includes therapeutic or treatment, prevention or control, and health maintenance or promotion. The host for a disease like HIV are humans. The agent is HIV 1 or HIV 2. The environments are physical, socio-economic, or biological.

Prevention/control comes from condom use, sexual education or abstinence as unprotected sex is a leading factor for HIV development in human populations. For those who have HIV, treatment comes in the form of antiretrovirals and these treat opportunistic infections. Health maintenance/promotion comes from surveillance and education so people are aware of what not to do when they come across HIV or contract HIV. For example, those with HIV may inform those they have been intimate with that they contracted HIV so these people can get tested and so forth.

4. HIV / AIDS Nurses receive training that prepares them to provide and deliver adequate care for patients infected with HIV. Because it is a deadly and incurable illness that attacks a patient’s immune system, there are many steps to take consistently in order to prevent complications and possible infection in other people. Some nurses trained to deal with HIV assists patients with HIV to cope with and handle the various physical and emotional symptoms that come with this progressive and incurable disease. Numerous HIV / AIDS Nurses work within community or public health and take on the task of educating at risk groups concerning safe sex and the perils of sharing needles.

They handle and report on cases of HIV patients to educate future nurses. They collect data from blood tests and other monitoring like blood pressure readings in order to give bettee detailed information within the cases they develop. They promote data analysis via research studies that take the information gathered discovering which medications are more beneficial and which are not. Nurses most importantly educate those suffering from HIV on how not to spread their infection by having protected sex and warning past partners of their current state of health. A study examined generic community nurse care for HIV patients and found it effective in conjunction with specialist care.

Improved management of HIV-related illness means that patients spend over 80% of their time in non-institutional settings. Most community-based health care in the United Kingdom is provided by primary health care teams: general practitioners and community nurses, with support from social workers… Three models of care have developed in NETRHA: specialist HIV teams, individual CNS HIV / AIDS acting as a resource to generic staff, and care given by generic community nurses. Our work suggests that both generic community nurses and patients benefit from specialist input, and that this should be provided using CNSs HIV / AIDS in an advisory and facilitative capacity” (Layzell & McCarthy, 1993, p. 531).

5. PACHA is a national American agency that helps change and introduce policies to promote effective education and prevention of HIV. “The Presidential Advisory Council on HIV / AIDS (PACHA) provides advice, information, and recommendations to the Secretary regarding programs and policies intended to promote effective prevention of HIV disease, and to advance research on HIV disease and AIDS” (, 2015). They not only provide free information on HIV to those at risk, but also provide recommendations in order to promote effective policy. They fund and hire members to continuously service and fulfill the mission of HIV / AIDS awareness.

They have meetings every couple of months to devise ways to better conditions for those suffering from HIV through advocating research for new drugs. They also have policy recommendations like the join letter to Secretary Sebelius that helps push for additional funding for those suffering with HIV and programs that educate in preventing HIV. Provisional subcommittees involving members of the parent committee often establish so the agency may perform explicit functions within the jurisdiction of the Council. Subcommittees create opening recommendations for deliberation of the full council. Presently, PACHA involves four subcommittees: “The Incidence Subcommittee, Access to Care Subcommittee, Disparities Subcommittee and the Global Subcommittee. The Department Committee Management Officer is notified upon establishment of each subcommittee and is provided information on its name, membership, function, and estimated frequency of meetings” (, 2015).

References,. (2015). Presidential Advisory Council on HIV / AIDS. Retrieved 1 April 2015, from

Layzell, S., & McCarthy, M. (1993). Specialist or generic community nursing care for HIV / AIDS patients?. J Adv Nurs, 18(4), 531-537. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2648.1993.18040531.x

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