6521 Week 8 discussion HIV.docx - 1 Drug Treatments for...

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1 Drug Treatments for HIV/AIDS Human immunodeficiency (HIV) is the virus that if not treated can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome or AIDS. Unlike some other illnesses, the human body retains the virus even with treatment (Arcangelo, Peterson, Wilbur, & Reinhold, 2017). Once an individual acquires HIV, the individual has it for life. HIV attacks the body's immune system, especially the CD4 cells (T cells). This part of the immune system helps fight off the infection. When HIV is not treated, the number of CD4 (T cells) cells reduces, and the person becomes vulnerable to other diseases including infection-related cancer (Arcangelo et al., 2017). According to recent evaluations, from CDC, (2010), 1.1 million individuals were living with HIV in the United States at the end of 2010 (Arcangelo et al., 2017). Today, the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 38,500 people were infected with HIV in the United States in 2015 (U.S. Statistics, 2018). The number of annual HIV infections in the U.S. declined by 8% between 2010-2015 (from 41,800 to 38,500) (U.S. Statistics, 2018). The reason for such a decline is attributed to increased access to healthcare and availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART), as well as the availability of more educational literature about the prevention and transmission of HIV (Arcangelo et al., 2017). The purpose of this discussion is to determine if the prevalence of HIV cases might be attributed to increased complacency based on advanced drug treatment options, and how health care professionals can help to change such perceptions and raise awareness of the reality of this disease. It will also suggest strategies to educate HIV positive patients on medication adherence and safe practices to reduce the risk of infecting others. Complacency Associated to Advanced Drug Treatment HIV was once considered a death sentence. Today, HIV is a chronic disease (The Guardian, 2015). Currently, with a combined antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen, there are promising results and people are living longer than expected. This has led to a reduction in
2 mortality and morbidity of HIV infected persons (Scourfield, Waters, & Nelson, 2011). As HIV

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