Demographics of Hiv/Aids in the United States of America

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  • Topic: AIDS, HIV, Antiretroviral drug
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Demographics of HIV/AIDS in the United States of America
HCS/490 Health Consumer Trends and Marketing
January 21, 2013
Jennifer Pharr

Demographics of HIV/AIDS in the United States of America
“Every 9.5 minutes someone in the United States is infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).” According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there are approximately 1.5 million people living with HIV, and one out of five is not aware they are infected (CDC, 2011). The first documented case of HIV was from a blood sample retrieved in 1959 from an individual residing in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There is no information on how this individual became infected or how it was believed to have arrived in the United States in 1969. There are a number of stories on how this life-threatening disease came about and how it made it to the United States. There is also a story of hunters eating a contaminated chimpanzee in the western part of Africa. Recent studies show HIV may have traveled from monkeys to humans as far back as the late 1800s.

In 1981 the CDC received reports of a rare cancer among the gay men in New York and California, called Kaposi’s sarcoma. Doctors began treating and caring for these young gay men for the cancer. Kaposi’s sarcoma is a cancer found in the Mediterranean heritage among elderly men with weakened immune systems. Gay and bisexual men of all races are ranked highest affected by HIV. A total of 270 cases of severe immune deficiency among gay men were reported in the closing of 1981 and 121 have died. In June, the CDC created the Task Force on Kaposi’s sarcoma and Opportunistic Infections (KSOI) to recognize the risk factors and to develop awareness for coast-to-coast observation. This marked the beginning of HIV. It is understood that HIV can go undetected for a long time within the body’s cells. During this time it is attacking the CD4 cells (needed for the body to fight infections and diseases) by using them to duplicate itself and destroying the cells. Once HIV has destroyed numerous CD4 cells, and the body can no longer fight off infections and diseases, it can lead to Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The first cases of HIV were later acknowledged and referred to as AIDS in 1982. In January 1982, San Francisco established the first American AIDS clinic, and the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, was founded in New York City and is first community-based AIDS service provider in the United States. Currently there are 31 Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved anti-retroviral (ARV) medications to treatment and help manage HIV. Individuals can live longer lives with the use of highly active antiretroviral therapy. With the widespread use of this drug, the epidemiology of the disease has shifted. People living with HIV/AIDS, 50 years and older have risen in numbers over the past years. This change has put a new focus on the importance of primary care in the diseases management. In the United States, these numbers have increased from 65,445 in 2001 to 115,871 in 2005 (Valenti, 2008). A decrease in mortality rates within the HIV/AIDS population and the causes of death are also changes in HIV/AIDS epidemiology. Although there is no cure for HIV/AIDS there are numerous medications and treatments, which are relieving individuals of the painful symptoms and helping to slow the disease’s progress down. The HIV/AIDS rate in the United States is constantly rising, which is causing the need for more health care resources such as clinics, hospitals, and centers focusing on the disease.

On July 13, 2010 the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (NHAS) was released by President Obama. The purpose of NHAS is to refocus efforts and deliver better results. The United States needs increased public attention to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Possessing the knowledge and necessary tools to slow the spread of HIV has improved the health of those living with HIV. The public’s actions in...
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