Role of Nurses in Dealing With Rise Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

role of nurses in dealing with rise and spread of HIV AIDS in the vulnerable community of Orange County Orlando FL. Homeless males between the ages of 40-50 were the target population for this paper. Ways to tackle this issue in accordance with the healthy NC2020 objectives have also been explained.

In a diverse population, such as that of Orange County, Orlando FL, there is no doubt that health risks and problems would be just as varied, especially among the different communities based on race, age, ethnicity and income class. However, this paper's special focus is on assessing the increased likelihood of the homeless males of Orange County between the ages of 40 and 50 to be exposed to HIV / AIDS, keeping in mind the three factors that this aggregate community has in common -- those of sex, social class and age, and regional belonging.

Homelessness has been on the rise in Florida with Orlando having the 5th highest number of chronically homeless individuals in the category of smaller cities, head-to-head with the District of Columbia in the major cities category. Various factors of cultural, social, and economic nature contributing to this increase are problems that include substance abuse and addiction, mental illness, low income, high prices on residences and domestic violence (Orange County Community Health Assessment, 2011).

Even as we take this aggregate community as part of all of Orange County's population, the disparities among the individual members cannot be ignored as the population of Orange County and consequently, this addressed vulnerable community, is too significant to be ignored. It is estimated that by the year 2012 point-in-time estimate that 27% of the population in the region comes under the label of chronically homeless (The 2012 Point-in-Time Estimates of Homelessness, 2013) and the annual report to Congress of assessment of the homeless in 2009 gave statistics of homeless people being male as 61%, being part of a minority as 62% and the chances of them being part of the 31-50 years demographic as 38% .The difference in life expectancies of different races and ethnicities along with susceptibility to disease make it necessary for us and the concerned authorities to determine the weaker links, along with addressing the task at hand as a whole, in order to work on them.

In the concluding diverse model constructed with the help of numbers calculated from a closed-case study done in Florida's public HIV / AIDS clinics, it was revealed that deaths caused by HIV / AIDS have showed just a slight decline in 1999, when a comparison with three subsequent years was made. When the aforementioned studies were carried out, homelessness was considered an independent factor that affected mortality of HIV / AIDS and therefore the need for special care for the homeless people was brought to attention (Lieb et al., 2002).

Because of all the recorded data, it seems reasonable to assume that those with a history of substance abuse, or a history of sexual abuse may be at an increased risk for infection due to HIV / AIDS thus, future research should put emphasis on the improvement of service delivery to the homeless, particularly with regard to sex education and substance abuse intervention.

Community Description

The 2010 census' statistics show that the total population of Orange County came to about 1,145,956 people with 49.24% of this population belonging to the male sex and 39.4% of the population belonging to non-white ethnicities (including African-American, Hispanic and Asian). The 18-65 years age demographic makes up 66.75% of the population.The general health status score of residents in this county is a mean score of just 3.5, indicating health to be above poor.

Florida generally, and Orange County specifically, participates in various government and independent programs in an effort to battle the increased epidemic that homelessness is now becoming. The Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness [the Partnership] was created as a way to prevent and end homelessness. The Partnership has prepared a Ten-Year plan to end Chronic Homelessness, in which it has outlined its long-term goals and strategy. The Plan's five major objectives are to decrease chronic homelessness, raise employment, and help prevent homelessness, aid in providing services to more people, incite and maximize public contribution to their basic purpose. The Plan document sketches the tactics to be followed for accomplishing every one of these goals.

Multiple community and faith-based programs, non-profit and non-government organizations, students, and many community members are working in collaboration with one another to help achieve this collective target. These include the Interfaith Council for Social Service, Orange Congregations in Mission, Neighbor House, and the Orange County Department of Social Services (DSS) which offer emergency lodging, economicaid, and food to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless (Orange County Community Health Assessment, 2011).

Also operating for prevention of HIV / AIDS is the AIDS Services Foundation Orange County, Irvine acts as a nutrition services program, which basically exists in order to cater to certain nutritional requirements of people infected with HIV / AIDS who are incapacitated and have low wages. On the other hand, the Illumination Foundation in Irvine holds its place to provide temporary housing and wrap-around services. The function of this program is to serve homeless families by offering facilities of accommodation, mental health rehabilitation, job advising, and case management connections to social and medical services.

US Department of Housing and Urban Development's Continuum of Care provides permanent and interim housing to homeless persons along with services such as health care, mental health therapy, job training, child care and substance abuse rehabilitation. The aforementioned organizations are working along with Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) Program, for each state, in another attempt to help the homeless community battling for their lives every day on the streets stand on their own feet a little more steadily.

Health-related problem, issue or health risk

HIV / AIDS is a growing epidemic and an undoubted and valid reason for alarm, not only in Florida but all of the U.S. That said, it should be noted that Florida has the third most frequent number of HIV / AIDS-infected in the United States, surpassed only by California and New York. Although the HIV / AIDS epidemic is prevalent throughout Florida, 76% of cases were found to amass in nine counties including Orange, Palm Beachand Polk while almost two-thirds of all Florida senior HIV / AIDS cases reported during April 2010 originated from four counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Orange (Evans, 2011).

However, HIV / AIDS is either faced with denial or regarded as the 'gay' disease and even in this day and age, those unfortunate people infected with HIV / AIDS, have to face great social stigma and often go through the process of finding out and dealing with their situations alone at best, and with constant ridicule, at worst.

HIV / AIDS is a gateway to many physical diseases but some of its effects are found to be largely psychological in nature. Infected people undergo a frightening and sudden change of personal view of life and themselves and have to face the trials of unpredictable phases of illness and wellness; expensive, complex, occasionally scarring treatments; feelings of loss, grief, anger, and depression and, perhaps worst of all, deteriorating health and premature death. The support of people close to them, such as family and friends, can make the transition for the infected towards acceptance and facing this great ordeal.

Professionals are astounded and angered by the behavior of most people when faced with the risk of either having or knowing someone close to them to be diagnosed with HIV / AIDS. The county's Health Department director, Dr. Harmon wants society to get out of denial and face the fact that this disease is having a massive negative effect on the lives of low-income people who do not have access to the required treatment. Harmon has observed Florida's social climate to be more conservative (Park, 2011).

Considering our vulnerable population of middle-aged homeless men in Orange County, Orlando FL, another issue that arises apart of the myriad of psychosocial and physical problems faced by people infected with HIV / AIDS is that most of them can hardly afford the bare necessities required to carry on a daily basis, let alone treatments and cures that probably cost much higher than all their life savings, if they have any. It has been reported that the price of HIV drugs almost tripled between 1999 and 2009 and that approximately 1,800 HIV patients were waiting for the availability to lifesaving drug treatment, in July 2010.

Even though, males who have sex with males (MSM) make up only 4% of the U.S. male population, the ratio of new HIV diagnoses among MSM compared to other men is above 44 (Evans, 2011). This just lends hand to the social prejudice that the gays have always faced and what almost always worsens the process of adjusting to and living through the pain of…

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