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HIV is the short form that denotes Human Immunodeficiency Virus. On the other hand, AIDS is the short form for Acquire Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV/AIDS is a disorder that weakens an individual’s immune system and subsequently makes the body vulnerable to many other disorders (Knoll, Lassmann, & Temesgen, 2007). Doctors and many organizations have fought the prevalence of HIV, and this has made its progression for AIDS to become low. With the resolute and collective action as well as the steadfast dedication by responsible stakeholders, we are beginning to think of a generation that is devoid of AIDS. However, despite the seriousness associated with this disorder, effective management practices will always lead to almost normal life for patients.
The first sign of HIV/AIDS infection is the development of influenza like illness, which occurs after two to three weeks. The specific condition is referred as the acute retroviral syndrome (ARS), which is the body’s natural way to respond to the infection. The symptoms accompanied by the ARS are fever, sore throat, swollen gland, fatigue, and rash. In addition, there are also joint and muscle aches and pain, and headache. A prolonged period without the specific symptoms then follows this (Sestak, 2005).
As the infection advances, it continues to interfere with the body’s immune system and makes the person susceptible to ordinary infections such as tuberculosis and other opportunistic tumors and infections, which do not typically affect people with strong and working immune systems. Therefore, the infection symptoms are known as AIDS. This stage is characterized by several health conditions like lung cancer, which is known as pneumocystis pneumonia, cancer referred to as Kaposi’s sarcoma, body weight loss that is so rigorous, and several other conditions that illustrate AIDS.
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Mode of Transmission
The basic means by which HIV is transmitted are through the engagement of unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person. Other ways include transfusion of infected blood, breastfeeding, and delivery. The best prevention for the disorder is abstaining from sex, practicing safe sex, and avoiding needle exchange. These are the main strategies of mitigating the spread of this disorder.
Until today, HIV/AIDS has no reliable cure, treatment, or vaccine. However, antiretrival vaccines can be used to manage and decrease the progression of the disorder. If used appropriately, the vaccines could aid an infected person lead a normal life. Despite the high cost of these vaccines as well as the side effects associated with their use, the particular vaccines have been effective in reducing complications and the risk of death. Furthermore, cannabis has been used as a natural therapy in reducing the complications of HIV/AIDS among the infected persons (Lutge, Gray, & Siegfried, 2013).
Organizations that Fight AIDS
Several humanitarian and government organizations have come up in the recent years in order to combat the ever growing threat of HIV/AIDS to humanity. To mention just a few of them, the International AIDS Society (IAS) AND the International AIDS Vaccine (IAVI) are among the most renowned organizations in the world.
International AIDS Society (IAS)
The International AIDS Society (IAS) is a self-governing association that comprises of HIV and AIDS experts who act in response to global problems concerning HIV. The members of this society include researchers, clinicians, community, and public health practitioners, including program and policy planners (Knoll, Lassmann, & Temesgen, 2007). The IAS organizes a range of international AIDS conferences and works on a single slogan of fighting the AIDS in the universal outlook.
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)
International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) is a worldwide society, which aims at speeding the allocation and development of preventive HIV vaccines. This body is alleged as the best hope for the world in putting an end to the AIDS pandemic. The main task of IAVI is to focus on mobilization of support through education and advocacy, speeding up of scientific advancement, back-up of industrial involvement in development of AIDS vaccine, and pledging global access (Lutge, Gray, & Siegfried, 2013).
This is a model in triangle form, which was developed by scientists to aid in the study of health problems. In particular, the triangle has three vertices, which comprise of the agent or microbe that causes the disease (the “what” of the triangle), host or organism which harbors the disease (the “who” of the disorder), and the external factors or environment that allows transmission (the “where”). The mission of an epidemiologist is to at least break one side of the triangle and disrupt its connection to the rest. In this regard, various attempts have been made to break the hosts, which in this case are the infected people (Knoll, Lassmann, & Temesgen, 2007). Awareness has been created to prevent people who have the virus from transmitting it to others. Abstaining from sexual intercourse or safe sex is a motto sang by many responsible parties as a form of preventing this disease.
Determinants of Health
Determinants are a range of personal, environmental, social, and economic aspects that determine populations’ or individual’s health status. Concerning HIV/AIDS pandemic, determinants of health play a key role in its transmission.
In regard to HIV, economical factors play a role since individuals may engage themselves in prostitution for economic sustenance. It should be considered that prostitutes are the main carriers of this virus, and they transmit it to others. On the other hand, a personal determinant includes such aspects as an individual’s decision on practicing safe sex as well as the decision to take appropriate treatment and other healthcare-related measures. Social factors are related to individual and societal values, which are expected to be adhered by the individual or society (Mandell, 2009).
Role of the Community Health Nurse
In essence, community health nurses are integral resources in prevention and care of HIV-related matters. Their mandate is beyond medical and health tasks through provision of counseling and social support. Further, community nurse workers are mandated to transform social structures by creating communities that identify the reality of the HIV/AIDS as well as sharing the skills and knowledge for establishing an environment where individuals are involved in protective behavior and supporting of their fellow community members.
Moreover, a community health nurse plays a role in initiating and managing programs that cater for HIV harm reduction. In addition, they ensure that the kind of health services they provide is non-discriminatory, thereby, developing a unique trust with the patients and other stakeholders. They act as information bridges between the specific communities, healthcare practitioners, politicians, and law enforcers.
To a large extent, with an undisputed knowledge about the definition, symptoms, and the mode of transmission, it is easy to employ more substantial approach to the management of this pandemic and the ultimate prevention control. Using the antiretroviral vaccines, the infected people can lead a long and comfortable life with this disease.
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