Epidemiology Paper HIV
“Epidemiology today is considered to be the core science of public health and is described as a constellation of disciplines with a common mission: optimal health for the whole community” (Stanhope & Lancaster, 2008). Epidemiology continues to play a large role in public health to improve on disease prevention and health promotion in communities across the United States and the World. The Gay, Lesbian, and Bi-sexual and Transgender (GLBT) community at it relates to HIV will be the main focus of this epidemiology paper. This paper will focus on the GBLT population in regards to their vulnerability and susceptibility to HIV, along with the epidemiology and levels of prevention. The following paper will discuss the definition and purpose of epidemiology, methods of epidemiology, the epidemiology triangle, as well as the levels of prevention that relate to HIV ethical and legal considerations, cultural considerations on health status, and how characteristics influence vulnerability in the GBLT community. According to Ard & Makadon, “Not only are lesbians, gay men, bisexual women and men, and transgender people distinct populations, but each of these groups is itself a diverse population whose members vary widely in age, race and ethnicity, geographic location, social background, religiosity, and other demographic characteristics.” In the past GLBT community was more accepted in San Francisco and New York, and with more people “coming out," the GLBT population has become more publically recognized across the United States. According to an NIBC article the phrase “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community refers to a broad coalition of groups that are diverse with respect to gender sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status." The GLBT is a different population, but they are very diverse in race, age, location and social backgrounds. Location is one of the biggest differences due to it being easier to express your orientation in a larger city. In rural areas, the GLBT people may feel more uncomfortable coming out due to fewer support services. With the GLBT population, the most prevalent epidemiology is HIV/AIDS. First we need to know the definition of epidemiology. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines Epidemiology as “Study of disease distribution in populations. It focuses on groups rather than individuals and often takes a historical perspective. Descriptive epidemiology studies a population to see what segments (e.g., age, sex, ethnic group, occupation) are affected by the disorder, follows changes or variations in its incidence or mortality over time and in different locations, and helps identify syndromes or suggest associations with risk factors. Analytic epidemiology conducts studies to test the conclusions of descriptive surveys or laboratory observations. Epidemiologic data on diseases is used to find those at high risk, identify causes and take preventive measures, and plan new health services.” HIV the most common disease within the GBLT community but it is more prevalent within gay and bisexual men. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection that is transmitted through body fluids and blood. According to the Mayo Clinic, HIV/AIDS is described as “AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). By damaging your immune system, HIV interferes with your body's ability to fight the organisms that cause disease. HIV is a sexually transmitted infection. It can also be spread by contact with infected blood or from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or breast-feeding. It can take years before HIV weakens your immune system to the point that you have AIDS. There's no cure for HIV/AIDS, but there are medications that can dramatically slow disease progression.” HIV is transmitted in five ways: through unprotected sexual intercourse, transmission of...
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