Epidemiology HIV Paper

Topics: HIV, AIDS, Tuberculosis Pages: 7 (1369 words) Published: December 13, 2014

Paola A Torres
Grand Canyon University: NRS- 427V


AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) is defined by the Mayo Clinic as "A chronic, potentially life-threatening condition which is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV damages the immune system, and interferes with the ability the body has to fight the disease causing organism" (Mayo Clinic, 2014). HIV is an infection transmitted sexually. Another mode of transmission for HIV is by exposure to infected blood, or it could also be transmitted from the mother to the unborn child during the course of pregnancy, at childbirth or through breastfeeding. It may take several years for the HIV virus to weaken the immune system enough that the patient will develop AIDS (Mayo Clinic, 2014).

The symptoms of HIV vary, depending on which phase of infection is in. The majority of the population who is infected with HIV usually presents flu-like symptoms approximately 1-2 months after contracting the virus. Possible signs and symptoms include: sore throat, rash, chills, diarrhea, headache, fever, muscle aches, ulcers in the mouth or genitals, pain in the joints, swollen lymph glands, and night sweats. Clinical latent infection usually can last anywhere from 8-10 years. It is possible for some people to remain in this stage even longer than 10 years. Some other people may progress to a more serious stage sooner than this time frame. In order to become infected with HIV, body fluids or secretions such as semen, blood, or vaginal secretions need to enter the body. Vaginal, oral, or anal sex with a person infected is also means of transmission for this virus. Rectal or vaginal tears, and mouth sores are also ways the virus can enter the body. HIV can also be transmitted from blood transfusions, by sharing contaminated needles and syringes, and during pregnancy, delivery of the baby or through breastfeeding. The mother can significantly reduce the chances of her baby becoming infected by receiving treatment for HIV infection during pregnancy. HIV makes the immune system weak; therefore, making the person more susceptible to develop many types of infections and also some cancers. Some of the infections that could be present in HIV infected people include: TB, toxoplasmosis, meningitis, cytomegalovirus, amongs many others. Kidney disease and neurological complications could present as complications in people infected with HIV (Mayo Clinic, 2014).

A cure has not yet been discovered for HIV, but there are different drugs that can be combined for controlling the virus. The best way of treatment is to combine at least 3 drugs from 2 different classes. The different classes of drugs for controlling the HIV virus include: Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, entry or fusion inhibitors, and integrase inhibitors (Mayo Clinic, 2014).

The CDC estimates that and average of 50,000 people in the United States are infected with HIV every year. The CDC reports that in 2010, there were approximately 47,500 new people infected with HIV. 2/3 of these happened in bisexual or gay males. Women and African American men were also reported to be affected greatly. By the end of the year 2010, it was estimated that 1,144,500 people 13 years old and older were infected with HIV in the USA. 180,900 of these people had not been diagnosed yet. The CDC also reports an average of 13,834 people who died with a diagnosis of AIDS in the year 2011 (CDC, 2014).

The Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) defines the social determinants of health as “the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work, and age, as well as the systems put in place to deal with illness” (CSDH, 2008). Determinants of health include: Socio-economic and environmental factors: Education, power, wealth, gender equity and discrimination. Living and working...

References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, November 25). CDC – HIV in the United States – Statistics Overview – Statistics Center – HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/basics/ataglance.html
CHLA. (2012). HIV Prevention at the Structural Level. The Role of Social Determinants of Health & HIV. Retrieved from http://www.chla.org
CSDH. (2008) Closing the gap in a generation: Health Equity Through Action on the Social Determinants of Health. Final Report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Geneva: World Health Organization
International Partnership for Microbicides. (2011). How HIV Infects a Cell. Retrieved from http://www.ipmglobal.org/how-hiv-infects-cell
Mayo Clinic. (2014, May 20). HIV/AIDS Treatments and drugs - Diseases and Conditions. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org
Meadows, P. (2009). Community Health Nursing. American Journal of Nursing, 109, 19. Retrieved from http://journals.lww.com
The Aids Institute. (2011). the Aids Institute. Retrieved from http://www.theaidsinstitute.org
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