HIV Epidemiology sample paper

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The title of APA Citation Example: HIV Description

            Human immunodeficiency virus commonly known as HIV causes an infection that affects the human immune system which is the natural defense mechanism. When the HIV infection is left untreated it results in a condition known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (Aids). Low immunity makes the body weak to fight off diseases. HIV destroys the white blood cells, especially the CD4 cells. When the CD4 cells are destroyed the body is susceptible to infections. It is imperative to reckon that having HIV does not insinuate that a person has AIDS (Evans, Jones, & Prendergast, 2016). It takes time for HIV infection to progress to the last stage of infection known as AIDS. It can take 5 to 12 years for one to have AIDs. After the diagnosis of HIV, medications are used to slow or stop the progression of the virus. HIV-1 and HIV-2 are the two types of infections. HIV-1 is across all countries while the latter is associated with AIDS-like conditions. HIV-2 is infrequent in North America.


           There are various ways of contracting HIV but contact with semen, infected blood and vaginal fluids are the main causative agents. Unprotected with infected persons and sharing sharp objects .breastfeeding and passing the virus from a mother to child during pregnancy and birth are other ways of transmitting the virus(Evans, Jones, & Prendergast, 2016). The level of survival outside the body is very low. Shaking hands or kissing an infected person cannot spread the infection.

           HIV symptoms can be mistaken for those in other conditions such as flu. These symptoms include sore throat, tiredness, fever, skin rash, muscle pains, headache, night sweats, weight loss swollen glands, and joint pain. These signs appear a few days or weeks after infection. After two or three weeks, the symptoms disappear but later on, they reappear and linger for a long. As the infection progresses, an infected person starts to forget things often, depict seizures, blurred vision, imbalance, depression or anxiety, act confused, and change behavior.

           HIV complications vary depending on patient factors, long-term infections, antiretroviral therapy, and age. Neurological complications can arise when the CD4 cells are completely damaged. HIV causes inflammation in the body thus the complications. As a result the brain the spinal cord is affected. Some HIV medications are associated with neurological complications. Some of these complications include but are not limited to dementia, neuropathy, Lymphomas, Fungal infections, parasitic infections, Cytomegalovirus infections, Neurosyphilis, and vacuolar myelopathy (Bhatia & Chow, 2016). Opportunistic infections are grouped as HIV complications. These infections include candidiasis, Cryptococcosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Coccidioidomycosis, Herpes simplex (HSV), Histoplasmosis, Isosporiasis, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP), Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), Pneumonia, Salmonella septicemia, Cancers, Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy, Toxoplasmosis, Kaposi’s sarcoma (KS), and tuberculosis (Bowen et al.2016).

           HIV has no cure. Antiretroviral drugs are used to slow and stop the replication of the virus and its spread/progression to the entire body. These medications reduce the risk that HIV poses to the nervous system. Neurological complications are treated differently. Antibiotics are used to cure bacterial infections (Bowen et al., 2016). Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are used to treat cancers. Tranquilizers and other drugs are used to relieve pain. Antidepressants are applied when an HIV patient is diagnosed with psychological conditions.

           According to UNAIDS, there are over 35 million people worldwide who have HIV (Unaids, 2017). Even though the rate of new infections keeps declining, about 2 million people acquired HIV in 2019. The virus is more prevalent in adults compared to children. HIV testing has intensified in the last decade whereby approximately 80% of the population with HIV know their status (Unaids, 2017). Access to HIV testing facilities and treatment has improved in the last decade. A third of the population with HIV can access antiretroviral therapy. HIV is prevalent in blacks, Hispanics, and people of multiple races. HIV incidence is highest in women. Transgender women are susceptible to contracting HIV. Injection drug users and commercial workers are at high risk. HIV incidence is high in People aged between 17-40 years old. In the last decade, HIV-related Deaths have reduced by half. Approximately 700000 people have died of HIV (Unaids, 2017). The deaths are high in adults and adolescents.

           HIV is a reportable disease because it is of great importance to public health. Even though the law stipulates confidentiality is key, all government agencies in the united impulse report HIV after diagnosis by physicians or laboratories. HIV is reported to the CDC. The organization collects statistics to determine the prevalence of the infection. HIV reporting is instant but the diseases require close monitoring especially when blood or tissue donation is involved.

The subtitle of APA Citation Example: Social Determinants That Contribute To the Development and Spread of HIV

            HIV transmission dynamics are influenced by structural factors, individual factors, and social factors. Studies show that social factors contribute to the development of HIV. Low income, illiteracy, food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, and unemployment, among other reasons influence HIV patterns (Evans et al., 2016). Sexual victimization in women contributes towards. Cultural and social norms influence the spread of HIV. Racial Discrimination and segregation discourage people from learning about HIV.Some cultures have not bought the idea of abstinence and protected sex. Lack of community and social support increases the risk of contracting HIV (Jeffries& Henny, 2019). Poor housing and lack of public safety play a role in the development of the disease. Marginalization in the community is also a contributing factor (Evans et al., 2016). Economic performance and industrialization in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America have influenced people to practice unprotected sex. Communities with a low incidence of reporting and with a high prevalence of Sexually transmitted diseases/infections are at high risk to get HIV

The subtitle of APA Citation Example: How HIV relates to the epidemiology triangle

Agent; HIV thrives on virulence targeting the immune system. The virus weakens the body making it vulnerable to other infections. Since HIV centers on weakening the immune system, the body cannot counter the virus on its own.

Portal exit; the virus is spread through body fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal fluids. When these body fluids come into contact with openings, damaged tissues, and mucous membranes the virus enters the body.

Reservoirs; Humans are the sole reservoirs 

Host; chimpanzees are alleged to be primary hosts of HIV. The theory is that humans who hunted the apes for meat were infected with mutated HIV when they contact with the infected blood. Defense against the progression of HIV is influenced by antiretroviral therapy.

Transmission; HIV transmission is either direct or indirect. 

Direct contact is through contact with infected body fluids and sharing sharp objects. Indirect transmission is common in mother to child during pregnancy, birth, or breastfeeding.

The subtitle of APA Citation Example: Role of Community Health Nurses

           Nurses should be at the forefront during case findings of HIV in the community. They should carry out testing to determine the health status of people within a certain area (Mottiar & Lodge, 2018). After diagnosing HIV they should report the incidence to relevant authorities to compound the statistics. Community health nurses are vital during data analysis. 

They determine the prevalence of a disease based on age, race, gender, and social-economic factors. Follow-up is important in nursing. Nurses should check up on patients to determine how they are responding to treatment or whether they need advanced intervention.

           Demographic data is important for the health of a community. Data pertaining to ethnicity, age, gender, and race helps improve the quality of healthcare. Researchers help healthcare institutions determine and solve care gaps in different populations (Medlock et al., 2017). With demographic data health practitioners can determine which population lacks optimal interventions. The data can be used to plan for future interventions or care services such as aid 

The subtitle of APA Citation Example: Agencies That Address HIV

           There are many organizations that work to address HIV spread, and treatment and scale up access to care. They include but are not limited to the Kaiser family foundation, the Global Fund, the world health organization (WHO), UNAIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS), International AIDS Society (IAS), amongst others. UNAIDS is geared toward combating new HIV infections (Medlock et al., 2017). The organization is working towards ensuring people with HIV access therapy and eradicating AIDs related deaths. The agency rebukes discrimination against HIV patients. UNAIDS’ vision of zero new HIV is hopeful that the AIDS epidemic will end in 2030.

The subtitle of APA Citation Example: The Global Implication of HIV

            HIV has a negative impact because most of the people living with the virus or affected by the virus fit in the working bracket (Evans, Jones, & Prendergast, 2016). HIV’s effect on the labor force affects economic growth and productivity. Organizations fears losing workers due to HIV. Costs of insurance for people with HIV increase the financial burden on employers. HIV has disrupted community life because some children are left orphaned. Most people living with HIV remain asymptomatic for a long thus infecting other people. HIV complications such as dementia impair work fitness amongst the youth. Nations are financially strained because the cost of providing HIV therapies is very expensive (Evans, Jones, & Prendergast, 2016). When most expenditure is directed towards healthcare, economic growth is affected. Increases in HIV cases and tuberculosis in southern Africa have resulted in health worker deaths thus weakening the healthcare system further.

            The agricultural sector has its fair share of consequences. Developing nations especially those from sub-Saharan Africa depend on agriculture. However, due to the high prevalence of HIV, the production of farm commodities reduces. Proceeds made from agriculture are channelled towards care hence rising the poverty levels. Families have to spend most of the time tending to the sick instead of farming (Evans, Jones, & Prendergast, 2016). People living with HIV experience stigmatization which might reduce their productivity.

           HIV has inflicted fear around the globe. There is always a perception that HIV will develop into AIDS which is associated with chronic illnesses that keep on relapsing. Again, people living with HIV are assumed to die at anytime. Employers would not prefer hiring HIV patients because of the high medical scheme costs and employee benefits that can be requested. It is hard to discipline an HIV patient for poor performance because s/he might think it is a form of victimization. Economies worry about funeral costs and death benefits that reduce economic growth (Evans, Jones, & Prendergast, 2016). HIV has a negative impact on community morale. The infectious virus hinders multinational integration because countries with high cases might experience travel advisories. Multinational disruptions slow international trade.

           Epidemiology cases in cultures around the globe are very different. Many speculations are surrounding the management of HIV. The case of HIV is very unique in Africa thus the high transmissions compared to western societies. Sexual practices, intravenous drug abuse, promiscuity, female circumcision, homosexuality, medicinal enemas, witchcraft, rituals, medicinal bloodletting, and infibulation influence how African cultures fail in addressing HIV(Bulstra et al., 2020). Nonsexual cultural practices such as genital tattooing and ritual scarification have slowed HIV interventions in sub-Saharan Africa. In east Africa, widow cleansing and wife inheritance are still common thus hindering combating HIV interventions. 

           Sadly, some cultures believe HIV is a “western disease” that cannot affect Africans. HIV is endemic in Africa because some of the “retrogressive “cultural norms have not faded away. It is primitive at this age in time to entertain visitors with women, inherit wife, practice group circumcision, wife cleanse and practice female genital mutilation (Bulstra et al., 2020). Approximately two-thirds of Africa population is infected with HIV. The highest cases of HIV infection are in Botswana, Swaziland and South Africa. The prevalence is highest in adults with over 24 million people currently diagnosed with HIV. Poor economic conditions, illiteracy, lack of sexual education and deplorable health care structures contribute to the high cases of HIV infection (Bulstra et al., 2020). AIDS denialist policies adopted by some African leaders, for example, former South Africa president Thabo Mbeki, have prevented the issuance of antiretroviral drugs. As a result, Africa has recorded the highest number of AIDS-related mortalities in the world. If Africa adopted counteractive measures early enough to address HIV, the continent would prevent many unnecessary deaths.

Sample References

Bhatia, N. S., & Chow, F. C. (2016). Neurologic complications in treated HIV-1 infection. Current neurology and neuroscience reports16(7), 62.

Bowen, L. N., Smith, B., Reich, D., Quezado, M., & Nath, A. (2016). HIV-associated opportunistic CNS infections: pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment. Nature Reviews Neurology12(11), 662.

Bulstra, C. A., Hontelez, J. A., Giardina, F., Steen, R., Nagelkerke, N. J., Bärnighausen, T., & de Vlas, S. J. (2020). Mapping and characterising areas with high levels of HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa: A geospatial analysis of national survey data. PLoS medicine17(3), e1003042.

Evans, C., Jones, C. E., & Prendergast, A. J. (2016). HIV-exposed, uninfected infants: new global challenges in the era of paediatric HIV elimination. The Lancet Infectious Diseases16(6), e92-e107.

Jeffries, W. L., & Henny, K. D. (2019). From Epidemiology to Action: The Case for Addressing Social Determinants of Health to End HIV in the Southern United States. AIDS and behavior23(3), 340-346.

Medlock, J., Pandey, A., Parpia, A. S., Tang, A., Skrip, L. A., & Galvani, A. P. (2017). Effectiveness of UNAIDS targets and HIV vaccination across 127 countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences114(15), 4017-4022.

Mottiar, S., & Lodge, T. (2018). The role of community health workers in supporting South Africa’s HIV/AIDS treatment programme. African Journal of AIDS Research17(1), 54-61.

Unaids, J. (2017). Fact sheet—latest global and regional statistics on the status of the AIDS epidemic. Geneva: UNAIDS.

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