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Drug Treatments for HIV/AIDS
The HIV Epidemic in America
There are approximately 1.2 million people living with HIV in America, (CDC, 2016). This deadly disease is
transmitted primarily through sexual intercourse when blood or genital fluids are present, IV drug use or
needle sticks, through childbirth or breastfeeding, (Arcangelo, Petersen, 2017). Today, testing for HIV has
still not been done by half of the adult population in the United States, (CDC, 2016). Increased HIV Complacency
HIV has become a manageable chronic health condition and people in our society no longer fear the
disease as much as they did in the past. Individuals who are living with HIV are working, they are in
relationships, and leading normal lives. HIV patients can now be treated successfully which allows people
to live longer and there are advancements in drug therapy that reduces the risk of HIV transmission.
With this new breakthrough, there are now HIV patients who are engaging in unprotected sex. However,
this deadly disease continues to spread in vulnerable communities. Arcangelo, Petersen, (2017) tells us
more people are being infected with the HIV virus and less people are dying from it. This means that our
efforts to spread awareness, encouraging people to wear protection and get tested is being ignored by
those who are at risk. “Every day, we see the sad and destructive consequences of people who seem to be willing to risk HIV infection just to enjoy sex the way they like it”, (Indiana
University, 2017). Treatment for HIV may reduce the virus in the body and dramatically reduce the risk of transmitting HIV
to others, (CDC, 2016). Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) drugs have worked to successfully maintain an
undetectable viral load in the blood, but patients need to have regular viral load testing and monitoring,
(Arkell, 2017). If adherence to ART medication is not on-going then viral suppression will not be
sustained. Data shows that 40 percent of infected individuals receive consistent medical care and, 30
percent keep the virus under control with treatment, (CDC, 2016). If we were to conclude that sixty
percent of the population are having difficulty keeping the virus under control, this would mean that
patients with HIV are possibly non-compliant, they may be faced with drug resistance or intolerable side
effects from the antiretroviral drugs they are taking. This leads to HIV infected patients having to try
different medications that may be toxic, expensive or ineffective.
Changing Perceptions, and Increasing Awareness Regarding HIV
We must do more for patients who are seeking treatment to understand the privacy and confidentiality
rules and laws that are in place in our health care system, we must remove barriers to medical care for
people without health insurance or who may be at risk due to their socioeconomic status. Prevention
information and prevention tools must be available for a diverse population to access, (CDC, 2016). Also,
a collaborative approach has been shown to be effective for medication adherence. Finally, adherence interventions and more support and monitoring from an interdisciplinary team has
been proven to be successful, (Krummenacher, et. al, 2012). Strategies to improve Promote Safe Practices and Increase Medication Adherence
We must do more to promote rapid HIV tests that are available to anyone wanting to check their status.
Finally, adherence interventions and more support and monitoring from an interdisciplinary team has
been proven to be successful, (Krummenacher, et. al, 2012). References Arcangelo, V. P., Peterson, A. M., Wilbur, V., & Reinhold, J. A. (Eds.). (2017).
Pharmacotherapeutics for advanced practice: A practical approach (4th ed.). Ambler, PA:
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Arkell, C. (2017). HIV treatment and an undetectable viral load to prevent HIV transmission. Retrieved
CDC, (2016). Challenges in HIV Prevention. Retrieved from:
Indiana University, (2017). HIV/AIDS: Is Complacency What’s Killing Us? Retrieved from:
Krummenacher, I., Cavassini, M., Bugnon, O., & Schneider, M. (2011). An interdisciplinary
HIV-adherence program combining motivational interviewing and electronic antiretroviral drug
monitoring. AIDS Care, 23(5), 550–561. Retrieved from: WaldenLibrary.org ...
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- Fall '17
- keisha lovence