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Epidemiology of HIV

Description of HIV

HIV is a communicable viral disease first reported in 1986 and has been a menace. The statistics indicate that more than 38 million people are presently infected with the disease (Johnson, 2023). This number can, however, be higher, considering some people might be living with the virus unknowingly. HIV is caused by a virus that targets the human defence mechanism against diseases, leaving the body vulnerable to infections and attacks from other harmful pathogens. The virus has a wide range of symptoms that might vary from person to person, the most common being the loss of body weight, constant fever and headaches, especially during the end of the window stage. Other symptoms include sore throat, fatigue and swollen lymph. These symptoms are, however, not unique to HIV, and a test should be done to ascertain whether someone is affected or not.

The modes of transmission are mainly tied to the exchange of body fluids which include blood, semen during unprotected sex and breast milk (Uwishema et al., 2022). The complications associated with HIV include diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis that might attack the infected person due to low immunity. During its full blow state, HIV leads to AIDS, which results in a low body defence mechanism and hence is vulnerable to attack by communicable diseases. HIV has no known treatment, but victims can use ARVs to manage the symptoms and halt the progression of HIV into AIDS (Gandhi et al., 2023). The disease is usually associated with low and middle-income groups such as the American-black and Hispanic populations. The virus is also common among countries with high poverty rates, such as those in Africa, with South Africa taking the lead in the percentage of people infected. With the emergence of various forms of ARVs, the HIV mortality rate has reduced significantly over the years.

HIV as a reportable disease

HIV is a life-threatening disease, primarily when not properly managed; it is, therefore, a highly rated reportable disease (Riley et al., 2020). Report and documentation of new HIV by various groups aims at reducing new cases and help manage the people already infected in order to pick out any new developments, such as the rate of spread, and issue the relevant resources to manage the spread and offer professional assistance to those infected and affected by the disease. The reporting criteria include testing using either antibody tests or nucleic acid tests and reporting new cases to the local health centres for documentation and tracking of the patient. This data is essential as it helps the government to plan for and administer the appropriate treatment plan for the documented patients.

Social Determinants of Health

Education is one major social determinant of health when talking about HIV. A poorly educated community will probably have more stigmatizing behaviours, which increase discrimination making people shy away from seeking testing and treatment services. A lack of knowledge of prevention mechanisms also increases the rate of new infections (Grand Canyon University, 2018). Lack of peace and security reduces accessibility to medical care facilities and protective equipment while at the same time increasing poverty levels. Areas with high poverty levels usually have a high drug and substance use rate, which usually leads to risky sexual behaviours. Behaviours such as taking part in unprotected sexual acts, especially with multiple partners, are a leading cause of new HIV cases in such areas.

Epidemiologic triangle of HIV and special consideration.

The epidemiologic triangle describes the three aspects of the disease, which include the host, environment and agent of transmission. In the case of HIV, the host is the behaviours that promote the spread of the virus, such as careless sex practices and sharing of sharp objects. The environment includes factors such as poverty, education and political stability of a place, while the transmission agent is the HIV type one virus. An individual who encounters the agent in a conducive environment gets infected (COVID, 2020). the Relevant groups and agencies should focus more on targeting specific groups of the population, such as the gay, black and Latino communities in the United States. People who use drugs and substances should also be targets of sensitization and mass testing to contain the spread and manage treatment.

Importance of demographic data

Different groups of people across different age groups, poverty levels, ethnicity and social classes have experience with HIV. It is also clear that these different groups are not equally affected by the virus. Demographic data helps identify the areas with the highest prevalence, directing the health provider’s attention to the groups with more need. An example is the concentration of awareness campaigns for people with more risky sexual behaviours, such as sex workers and drug users, who contribute to many of those infected (Chou et al., 2020). Also, understanding these different groups can help relevant authorities develop culturally appropriate ways of offering treatment and awareness campaigns.

Community health nurses’ roles

For primary prevention, community health nurses should collaborate with community leaders to advise and guide members on various prevention and management mechanisms. By educating trusted and prominent leaders within a particular group, the group members can benefit from the information as they easily interact with those leaders. This trust can come in handy in tackling issues such as stigmatization in accepting the nurses in their community. Secondary prevention of HIV involves developing workshops within these communities to offer mass testing and counselling services to prevent further transmission (Yusuf & Agwu, 2021). Tertiary prevention, on the other hand, involves offering treatment plans to those found to be infected by the virus; the nurses can come up with meal plans, doses and behavioural suggestions to help those infected to help them live wholesome lives even with the virus. The data recovered from interaction with the community is then presented to organizations such as CDC to help with research and planning.

The Christian worldview can be integrated through equal care of patients concerning their dignity and humanity and eliminating stigma and discrimination to ensure that patients feel cared for even after being diagnosed with the virus. The Christian teaching of love and care prompts nurses to take their nursing responsibilities seriously, as the activities involve caring for the well-being of an entire community (Shelly et al.,2021).

National agency addressing the HIV situation.

One common agency is the National Institute of Health which is tasked with researching methods of treating, preventing and managing the virus. This institute provides different kinds of support to groups that carry out research and programs to tackle the HIV menace. Another agency is the United States Center for Disease Control which also carries out research and assists other agencies that study the virus to identify improvements in how to treat and manage the virus. The CDC also partners with other local and international organizations, such as the World Health Organization, in sharing medical research and providing guidance to each other on new techniques for treatment and handling HIV (Grand Canyon University, 2018).

Global Implication of HIV

HIV has had several implications, which are primarily economic. Many villages in Africa, especially in the Central African region, have lost family heads who were the primary breadwinners, leaving those families prone to poverty and malnutrition. Caring for HIV patients is also expensive and tiresome for the family members, draining their resources and making them prone to poverty. An example of a country that has dealt with the effects of HIV is Thailand, which has focused on preventing new cases and massive testing to identify new cases (Muccini et al., 2019). By advocating for the use of condoms coupled with mass education, the number of new infections has significantly reduced, reducing the economic impacts that emerge from illness and death. Even though HIV is not endemic in most areas, several countries have declared the virus a national crisis and therefore come up with various programs and funding that help deal with it.


Chou, L. W., Chang, K. M., & Puspitasari, I. (2020). Drug abuse research trend investigation with text mining. Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine2020, 1-8.


Gandhi, R. T., Bedimo, R., Hoy, J. F., Landovitz, R. J., Smith, D. M., Eaton, E. F., … & Saag, M. S. (2023). Antiretroviral drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection in adults: 2022 Recommendations of the International Antiviral Society–USA Panel. JAMA329(1), 63-84.

Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). _Community & public health: The future of health care_. Retrieved from

Johnson, A. M. (2023). Pandemic HIV and its legacy for medicine and global health. Clinical Medicine.

Muccini, C., Crowell, T. A., Kroon, E., Sacdalan, C., Ramautarsing, R., Seekaew, P., … & Phanuphak, N. (2019). Leveraging early HIV diagnosis and treatment in Thailand to conduct HIV cure research. AIDS research and therapy16, 1–8.

Riley, L. T., Johnson, K. L., Stewart, J., & Byers, P. (2020). Syphilis and HIV Co-infection in Mississippi: Implications for control and prevention. AIDS and Behaviorpp. 24, 1064–1068.

Shelly, J. A., Miller, A. B., & Fenstermacher, K. H. (2021). Called to care: A Christian vision for nursing. InterVarsity Press.

Uwishema, O., Ayoub, G., Badri, R., Onyeaka, H., Berjaoui, C., Karabulut, E., … & Chalhoub, E. (2022). Neurological disorders in HIV: hope despite challenges. Immunity, inflammation and disease10(3), e591.

Yusuf, H., & Agwu, A. (2021). Adolescents and young adults with early acquired HIV infection in the united states: unique challenges in treatment and secondary prevention. Expert review of anti-infective therapy19(4), 457-471.


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