Hiv Epidemiology Paper

1453 words - 6 pages

Epidemiology Paper: HIV
Grand Canyon University: NRS-427V

Human immunodeficiency virus, otherwise known as HIV, is a serious disease that affects the bodies’ immune system. HIV affects the immune cells, specifically called the CD4 cells or T cells. As time passes, these cells are destroyed and soon the body begins to lose its ability to fight off infections and disease. HIV is the virus that could lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Unfortunately, there is no cure for HIV, meaning once infected, you will remain infected for the rest of your life.

The earliest HIV case was known to be in 1959. While it is unknown when exactly it came about, or from where, ...view middle of the document...

However, those who report symptoms state if feels like “the worst flu ever” (CDC, 2015). Those who have symptoms may report fever, enlarged lymph nodes, sore throat, and/or rash. Most symptoms are displayed 2-4 weeks after the initial exposure to HIV and could last anywhere from a few days to several weeks (CDC, 2015). It is important not to assume HIV if these symptoms appear, or to disregard HIV if no symptoms are present. The only way to determine if you’re infected or not is to get tested.

As of today, there is no cure to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. However, there are medications that could be taken that could dramatically prolong the lives of those who live with HIV. Standard antiretroviral therapy (ART) consists of the combination of at least three antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to maximally suppress the HIV virus and stop the progression of the HIV disease (WHO, 2015). It is very important for those who are maintaining their HIV through ART drugs to take these medications as directed. If medications are not taken correctly it may lower the immune system and cause the level of the virus, also known as the viral load, to go up.

As mentioned above, the AIDS epidemic was first reported in 1981, and 30 years later, in 2011, there are more than 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, with at least 2 million of them being children under 15 years of age. In 2009, cases of new infection were estimated to be 2.6 million, and deaths were recorded at 1.8 million (Maurer 120). HIV is a worldwide issue and needs to be controlled. In America there are currently 1.2 million people living with the disease. The CDC estimates one in five of these (21%) is unaware of his or her status. (Maurer 176) HIV is a deadly disease, and if an individual with HIV fails to follow up for medical treatment, their body will soon stop fighting any illnesses’ and cause death. According to the CDC, in the United States over 14,000 people will lose their lives to the HIV/AIDS virus each year (CDC, 2015). Since the beginning of the epidemic, nearly 30 million people have died from AIDS-related causes. (AVERT, 2012)
HIV infects people worldwide without regard for age, race, gender, or social class. However, HIV infection is increasingly becoming a disease of poor, uneducated, or undereducated people of color. (Copstead-Kirkhorn 264) Certain people who are most often seen with this disease are those who inject drugs, sex workers, and men who have sex with men. It is seen often in the younger crowd, from adolescent to young adult. These young adults account for 39% of all newly infected patients. (AVERT, 2012)

The epidemiological triangle is a model that scientist have developed to assist in studying health problems. This triangle is used to help understand the disease and how they spread. When the epidemiological triangle is used, it describes the host of the disease, the agent, and the environment that cause or allow the disease transmission. The agent is...

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