HIV Infection And Its Implications Essay

Length: 7 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Disease Type: Essay Paper: #8730084 Related Topics: Salmonella, Aids, Cardiovascular Disease, Cervical Cancer

Excerpt from Essay :

¶ … Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

Description of the communicable disease

Infection by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has become a global epidemic. It causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The major causal sources of this communicable disease are through semen, blood, breast milk of infected mothers, and vaginal fluid. In addition, the virus can be found in sweat, saliva, and also tears; however, in the latter cases, generally not in sufficient amounts to cause spreading of the virus to another individual. The main common means of being infected with HIV are through having unprotected sex and through sharing of needles. HIV may be transferred through unprotected heterosexual or homosexual anal, vaginal, and perhaps oral sex. Even though the risk of infection is minimal with oral sex, there remains the same imperative to use protection such as a condom in the course of oral sex. Due to new treatments, the risk of spreading the disease to the baby during birth is decreasing. In addition, breast feeding by a mother who is infected can also spread HIV. When the virus enters the blood, it overwhelms cells important to the immune responses which are referred to as CD4+ lymphocytes. The destruction of immune responses interrupts the ability of the body to repel and resist infections and other ailments (Body and Health Canada, 2015).



The symptoms of the HIV infection or contamination start to be seen two weeks to twelve weeks after the individual is exposed to the virus. Once this point takes place, the virus starts quickly taking over immune cells that are found within the blood. At this stage, the symptoms are flu-like and consist of headaches, night sweats, diarrhea, swollen glands, weight loss, rashes, fever and also fatigue. Once the symptoms start to appear, the individual with HIV is quite infectious. The symptoms commonly disappear within 1 week to a month period, and the individual starts to feel okay once more. Nevertheless, the symptoms might reoccur once in a while. The symptoms of this communicable disease are comparable to the symptoms of other diseases. The only means of ascertaining whether one is affected with HIV is to get tested. However, once infected, it can take up to three months for the antibodies to the viruses to be detected in the human body. This process is referred to as sero-conversion and once it takes place the virus can be detected by testing the blood. Once the primary symptoms go away, the immune system of the body makes an attempt to control the virus. The immune system can restrain the HIV for a small time period, but not for very long as it cannot do away with it. Several individuals will feel okay for quite a number of years up until their immune system becomes weak and they develop AIDS. Devoid of any kind of treatment, almost 50% of the people infected with HIV develop AIDS in about ten years or less. A small number of those infected, referred to as long-term non-progressors, do not attain AIDS until much later (Body and Health Canada, 2015).

HIV is commonly treated with Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy (HAART) which is a powerful and effective combination of anti-HIV medications. It is imperative to take note that this treatment will not cure HIV. There is not yet any proven cure for HIV. However, the HAART treatment will be able to reduce the extent of viruses within the blood, enhance the immune system, and also slow down the advancement of the disease (Body and Health Canada, 2015).

Demographics of Interest: Statistics from the World Health Organization indicate that for every ten deaths that take place globally, six are attributed to non-communicable diseases, three to communicable diseases, generative or dietary conditions, and one to injuries. Several developing nations have mortality patterns that indicate and mirror high extents of infectious diseases and the risk of demise in the course of the perinatal period and also during childbirth. There are also cancers, cardiovascular disorders (CVDs), and also chronic respiratory diseases that constitute the majority of the deaths in the developed nations (WHO).

The prevalence of the HIV transmission is highest in the region of Africa. About sixty seven percent of the worldwide total of thirty three million individuals who are infected with the virus reside in Africa. In nations with widespread epidemics, HIV prevalence is projected from prenatal clinic attendees and population-based assessments. In concerted and low level epidemics, where the prevalence of the disease for pregnant women is below one percent, approximations are consequential from


It can be of assistance in understanding communicable diseases and how they spread and actualities (CDC, 2015). The Epidemiologic triangle has three vertices:

i. Agent or the microscopic bacteria that causes the disease is what takes the "what" aspect of the triangle. Our agent in this discussion is the HIV virus. There are numerous viral subtypes, a number of which might be more infectious or hostile than other. The virus must attain accessibility to particular human cells, principally those with the CD4 receptor on the cell membrane. In addition, the virus might appear and act to some extent in a different way in dissimilar body parts and fluids. For example, HIV might act to some extent differently in blood compared to semen (CDC, 2015).

ii. Environment or the external aspects that make it possible and allow the transmission of the disease cover the "where" point of the triangle. With regards to this communicable disease, the environmental factors encompass numerous variables. Different sexual practices, gender relations, drug abuse, having multiple sexual partners, and also the level of education are all factors that play a part in this case. A good example of environmental factors influencing HIV spread would be the use of condoms, and also having clean needles available for use for individuals who inject drugs.

iii. Host or the organism that harbors the disease is what covers the "who" part of the triangle (CDC, 2015). There are a number of host factors which make it possible for the virus to be infectious. There are the genital parts to start with. For the males there are the foreskin, seminal cells, and seminal plasma; on the other hand for the female, there are the cervical areas. There is also the blood; and thirdly there is the extent of the virus in the secretions made that can act as a host factor.

Determinants of Health

Social determinants of health are intricate and corresponding public, societal, financial, and environmental factors that impact a person's and a shared society's risk for health inequalities. They are the circumstances and situations into which individuals are born, develop, live, labor, mingle, and create associations, and the arrangements that are in place to cope with health and well-being (CHLA, 2012). Some of the determinants include circumstances for early childhood development, education, occupation, salary and job security, health services accessibility, social exclusion, and also stigma. Distinguishing the correlated constituents of HIV risk is fundamental to understanding and establishing the most efficient HIV prevention reaction. For instance, research has revealed that HIV rates are greater for black men who have sex with men (MSM) compared to those of MSM of different races (CHLA, 2012).

Role of Community Nurse

Community nurses have played a vital role in combating HIV right from the beginning. In worldwide HIV care, nurses do not just prescribe medication devoid of undertaking continuing medical appointment choices, interdisciplinary communication, and backing by cooperating doctors. This is referred to as "task-sharing," where the community nurses can and do recommend anti-retroviral medications; however, they undertake this in partnership with, and with the backing of, their doctor colleagues. The nurses also play a great role in continuous research and study, in the attempt of finding a cure for the disease. This encompasses not only the collection of data through surveys and interviews, but also doing follow-ups with the participants in various studies (Yox and Farley, 2012).


There are several organizations that address this particular communicable disease. The International Aids Society (IAS) is the largest self-governing organizations in the world for HIV professionals with members from nearly two hundred nations. The members of this organization are the trailblazers of research, clinicians, and also practitioners in the society with regards to the epidemic. One national organization is the AIDS Institute which fosters and supports action for social change and transformation through different means such as public course of action research, activism, and community education (, 2015).

Assignment 2(A)

The global health issue selected in this discussion that is impacting the international health community is cardiovascular disease (CVDs). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), every single year about seventeen million people across the world die of CVDs, especially strokes and heart attacks (WHO, 2015). The global burden of disease has radically moved from infectious, parental, perinatal, and dietetic causes to…

Sources Used in Documents:

References (2015). Global HIV / AIDS Organizations. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:

Body and Health Canada. (2015). HIV / AIDS. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:

Cabieses Valdes, B.B. (2011). The living conditions and health status of international immigrants in Chile: Comparisons among international immigrants, and between them and the Chilean-born.

CDC. (2012). CDC Global Health Strategy 2012 -- 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:
CDC. (2014). Social Determinants of Health. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:
CDC. (2015). Understanding the Epidemiologic Triangle through Infectious Disease. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:
CHLA. (2012). The Role of Social Determinants of Health & HIV. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:
WHO. (2009). World Health Statistics: Cause-specific mortality and morbidity. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:
WHO. (2015). Cardiovascular Diseases. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:
Yox, S., Farley, E. (2012). The Role of the Nurse in HIV Treatment and Care. Medscape. Retrieved 19 May 2014 from:

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