A Communicable Disease HIV

ACommunicable Disease: HIV

CommunicableDisease: HIV

Infectiousdiseases are brought about by pathogens. HIV is one of the mostcommon types of infectious diseases in the modern world. Thisinfectious type of illness is caused by human immunodeficiency virusthat is abbreviated as HIV. The virus causes the illness bydestroying the CD4+ cells that are responsible for the protection ofthe body from diseases (Mayo Clinic, 2016). This paper will provide adiscussion of the HIV, with a focus on its description, determinantsof health, epidemiologic triangle, the role of the community healthnurse, and a national agency that minimizes the impact of theillness.

Themajor symptoms of the infection are classified into two groups. Theearly symptoms are referred to as the acute retroviral syndrome andthey may include nausea, belly cramps, fever, enlargement of lymphnodes, skin rashes, loss of weight, pain in the joints, and sorenessin the throat (Mayo Clinic, 2016). They last for about 2-3 weeks.Once the early signs disappear, the infected individual may takemonths to years before they can reappear.

Latersigns are quite severe compared to early symptoms. They includefatigue, night sweetness, diarrhea, dry cough, and changes inpersonality. The patient may also suffer from sores in the mouth,herpes sores on the genitals, change in nails, and a significant lossin weight (Mayo Clinic, 2016).

HIVvirus may be transmitted through multiple ways. First, most of thepatients are infected after having sex with partners who are alreadyill. Secondly, the virus may be transmitted through the process oftransfusion with the blood obtained from an infected person. Third,sharing of needs can result in the transmission of the virus. Thismode of transmission is common among the drug users (Mayo Clinic,2016). The use of a needle that has already been applied by aninfected person increases the risk of contracting the HIV. Fourth,the pathogen is passed on from mother to child, which may occurduring delivery or pregnancy. Other uncommon methods through whichHIV may be transmitted include deep kissing and eating things thathave been pre-chewed by infected individuals.

Aftergetting the HIV, an individual is subjected to the risk of numerouscomplications. Some of the most common types of complications includecytomegalovirus, candidiasis, tuberculosis, toxoplasmosis,tuberculosis, and cryptosporidiosis (Mayo Clinic, 2016). Currently,there is no reliable type of medication that can treat HIV. However,there are several types of drugs that are administered, with theobjective of controlling the reproduction of the virus. These drugsinclude nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, proteaseinhibitors, integrase inhibitors, non-nucleoside reversetranscriptase inhibitors, and entry inhibitors (Mayo Clinic, 2016).

Interms of mortality, the disease kills about 1.1 million peopleannually (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016). In terms of morbidity,about 36 million people are living with the virus worldwide (KFF,2016). Although civic education about the HIV has been taking placefor many years, it is evident that the incidence of the disease hasbeen increasing in certain parts of the world. It is estimated thatover 2.1 million people get infected each year (KFF, 2016). The virusis more prevalent in women, where over 51 % of the infected personsare female. In addition, the prevalence of the virus among the youngpeople aged between 15 and 24 years is 35 % (KFF, 2016).Additionally, the prevalence of the infection is about 25 % inSub-Saharan countries. At the global level, approximately 1.8 millionkids suffer from the HIV infection (KFF, 2016).


Thereare many determinants of health that contribute towards thedevelopment of HIV. Studies on income as well social status indicatethat people who live below the poverty line are at a higher risk ofgetting infected than the rich citizens. Poor people have a limitedcapacity to seek for the medical care as well as information that canhelp them prevent or manage HIV infection (Center for Disease Controland Prevention, 2013).

Inaddition, the accessibility of the health care services is among thekey determinants of HIV development. The poor and the people of colorsuffer from the virus because they lack adequate access to healthcare facilities and information (CDC, 2013).

Thelevel of education also determines the risk of contracting the virus.People with tertiary education are less likely to suffer from thevirus compared to those with less than a high school academicachievement (CDC, 2013).

Studieshave also established the association between unemployment and therisk of contracting HIV. The unemployed persons have more time toengage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected sex or substance abuse(CDC, 2013).

Thephysical environment, which includes one’s neighborhood, determinesthe level of exposure to factors that facilitate the transmission ofthe virus. For example, people living in slums and crowded urbanareas are at a higher risk of contracting HIV because they areexposed to sexual practices at an early age (CDC, 2013).

Childhooddevelopment determines one’s ability to make choices regardinghealthy behaviors. Individuals who are brought up by caring parentsare taught about the risk of unprotected sex and sharing needles whenabusing drugs, thus helping them avoid the virus (CDC, 2013).

Gendermay also determine the risk of infection, where more than 51 % of thepersons living with the virus are female (KFF, 2016). However, themechanism through which gender determines the HIV development is notclear.

Culturalpractices may determine the rate of transmission. For example, thevirus is likely to spread faster in communities that circumcise theirboys using a single knife (CDC, 2013).


Figure1: Epidemiologic triangle

Thereare three factors that should be considered when analyzing HIVinfection using the epidemiologic triangle. The first factor is theagent, which is the pathogen responsible for the occurrence of thediseases. Human immunodeficiency virus is the agent that causes HIVinfection (CDC, 2014). The second factor is the host, which refers tothe organism that is exposed to the agent. Human beings act as thehosts for HIV. Lastly, the environment refers to favorable conditionsas well as surroundings that allow the transmission of the agent. Inthe case of HIV, environmental conditions include neighborhood andaccessibility of ART (CDC, 2014). The virus does not require anyvector for a successful transmission.

CommunityHealth Nurse

Communityhealth nurses (CHNs) are equipped with skills that help them delivercare to individuals as well as groups that are considered to bevulnerable. The CHNs work with the community, which means that theirinitial role should involve the case finding. The process of casefinding should involve the determination of the groups as well asindividuals who are the risk of being infected with HIV. The nursesshould then advise the stakeholders to channel more resources tothose communities in order to prevent the disease or facilitate itsmanagement (Public Health Action Support Team, 2016).

Communityhealth nurses are encouraged to apply the concept of evidence-basedpractices, which require the use of scientific evidence to informhealth decisions. To this end, the CHNs are expected to play theroles of collecting and analyzing data that point to areas that needto be addressed in order to assist the vulnerable members of a givencommunity (Mwai, Mburu, Frost, Seeley, Torpey, &amp Ford, 2013). Thefindings should be reported to the relevant bodies, such as theCenter for Disease Control or the Ministry of Health. In addition,the CHN should conduct the follow-up in order to help individuals whohave been infected to manage the diseases effectively. Nurses shouldalso play the advocacy role by pushing for the allocation of moreresources to agencies that support the most vulnerable individuals aswell as groups.

Agencythat Reduces the Impact of HIV: AIDS.Gov

AIDS.govis a government agency that has operations countrywide. Its primarymandate is to facilitate a universal suppression of HIV virus. Theagency pursues its mandate by increasing the testing as well as thecare among communities considered as the most vulnerable (AIDS.gov,2016). In addition, the agency applies emerging methods ofcommunication to facilitate access to information about HIV,programs, policies, and resources. This government body provides helpthose who are healthy, but at the risk of contracting HIV and thosewho have already been infected. Therefore, it enhances prevention andmanagement of infection.


HIVis among the most common types of infectious diseases in the modernworld. It is a viral disease whose symptoms occur in phases. Somegroups (such as women, young people, and those living in thecongested urban areas) are at a higher risk compared to the generalpopulation. Some of the common determinants of HIV developmentinclude the level of education, access to care, location, childhooddevelopment, and culture, among others. Community health nursesshould play the roles of identifying the at-risk groups as well asindividuals, conducting research, follow-up, and advocacy.


AIDS.gov(2016). Universal viral suppression. AIDS.gov.Retrieved October 4, 2016, from https://www.aids.gov/

Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention (2013). Social determinants ofhealth among adults with diagnosed HIV infection in 18 areas,2005-2009. HIVSurveillance Supplemental Report,18 (4), 1-28.

Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Understandingthe epidemiologic triangle through infectious disease.Washington, DC: CDC.

KaiserFamily Foundation (2016). The global HIV/AIDS epidemic. KFF.Retrieved October 4, 2016, fromhttp://kff.org/global-health-policy/fact-sheet/the-global-hivaids-epidemic/

MayoClinic (2016). Diseases and conditions: HIV/AIDS. MayoClinic.Retrieved October 4, 2016, fromhttp://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/basics/causes/con-20013732

Mwai,W., Mburu, G., Frost, P., Seeley, J., Torpey, K. &amp Ford, N.(2013). Role and outcomes of community health workers in HIV care insub-Saharan Africa: A systematic review. Journalof the International AIDS Society,16 (1), 1-18.

PublicHealth Action Support Team (2016). Differencesbetween screenings: Diagnosis tests, case finding.Bucks: Public Health Action Support Team.