May 23rd, 2013
This document will discuss the relevancy of the population chosen and the disease of interest. The vulnerable population that was chosen is the homeless. The disease related to this population is HIV/AIDS. It will define and describe epidemiology regarding HIV/AIDS and the steps and methods used. This document will also define the Epidemiological Triangle and the different types of epidemiology. It will also discuss how the population chosen characteristics influences vulnerability and how the cultural considerations may influence health status of the individual. It will explain the ethical and legal considerations and how to overcome potential biases and describe the relationship of the disease to the various levels of prevention. Relevant Population and Disease of Interest
The homeless population has a higher risk of developing HIV. A sizeable amount of homeless people struggle with drug abuse and numerous homeless people shoot up drugs in their vein and either share or reuse needles. “This is responsible for 13% of HIV/AIDS diagnosed in the United States. 50% of cases are due to male-to-male sexual contact, and 33% are due to heterosexual sex” (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2012). Homelessness can precede sexual activities that intensify the risk of developing HIV (National Coalition for the Homeless, 2012). Epidemiology
Epidemiology is the division of medical science that studies the influences that determine the presence or absence of diseases. Epidemiological research helps to understand how many people have a disease and if those numbers are changing. It also looks into how the disease affects our society and our economy. Epidemiologists study the distribution of frequencies and patterns of health events within groups in a population (Center for Disease Control, 2004). Steps and Methods in Epidemiology
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was first acknowledged as a new disease in the United States in young, homosexual men with Pneumocystis carinii (now P jiroveci) pneumonia (PCP) and Kaposi's sarcoma” (Center for Disease Control, 2004). The effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are influenced not only by sexual partners, sexual preferences, and extramarital affairs but also include psychosocial, socioeconomic such as the homeless population. Many homeless are thought to lack access to resources and supports needed to ensure adherence to antiretroviral therapy but collaboration with mental health clinics, clinics, and community members make adherence possible. The incubation period of AIDS prior to the use of effective antiretroviral therapy was approximately ten years. In general the homeless have higher rates of chronic diseases because of lifestyle factors such as drug, alcohol, or tobacco use, exposure to extreme weather, nutritional deficiencies, and those experiencing violence. (Human Rights and International Affairs Division, 2011). “In 1993 the AIDS case was defined to include a CD4-lymphocyte count below 200 cells/mm3 or CD4 percentage below 14%. The characteristics of the first 50,352 cases, reported between 1981 and 1987 to CDC, differ significantly from the characteristics of the 69,151 cases reported a decade later in 1996” (Center for Disease Control, 2004). The epidemic has become progressively more in the non-white populations, women, and of heterosexuals and IV drug users (Center for Disease Control, 2004). Epidemiological Triangle
The Epidemiologic Triangle is a model that has been established for studying health problems. It can help in understanding infectious diseases and how they spread. The triangle is composed of three corners and they include agent, host, and environment and their determinants: who, what, and where. Agent is the microbe or the “what” of the triangle such as bacteria, viruses, poison, alcohol, smoke, trauma, radiation, fire, and lack of or excessive...