For quite a long time, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have continued to present serious challenges globally. Although involvement by different agencies to reduce the number of HIV/AIDS-related cases globally, a lot still needs to be done to eliminate the menace. Over the years, different groups have made attempts to work together to deal with the resultant challenge and this has been viewed as a move in the right direction in the war against the pandemic.
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This paper is divided into three parts. Part one gives a summary and analysis of four news reports regarding the subject of HIV/AIDS. Part two focuses on how this issue is addressed in the literature and part three compares the analysis of HIV/AIDS in media reports and professional nursing literature.
Summary and Analysis of Weekly Reports
The first news report is by Scripps Research Institute (SRI). According to SRI (2016), several individuals suffering from HIV/AIDS are capable of naturally producing antibodies that help to counteract strains of rapidly mutating or changing viruses. The report also indicates that scientists and other key players are working hard to come up with a vaccine that can induce the antibodies that can ultimately prevent HIV infection.
The second new report is by the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC, 2016). In summary, the report shows that close to 37 million people in the world today are living with HIV. Based on this report, the progression of HIV to AIDS is effectively controlled through the use of antiviral medications. However, even though these antiviral medications help to improve health and increase the rate of survival for people with HIV, they are linked to the development of cardiovascular disease. The report further indicates that researchers have now come up with an enzyme that can help to lower the risk associated with cardiovascular disease originating from the use of HIV antiviral medications.
The third news report is by Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC, 2016). According to this report, researchers have discovered antibodies that can disable HIV by binding themselves to it. With the help of computer modeling, these researchers have been able to build the capacity of the antibodies to disable HIV.
The fourth news report is by Michael Carter and looks at how Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) has helped to avert numerous cases of opportunistic infections that are related to HIV in developing countries (Carter, 2016). The report further shows that the use of ART has led to a reduction in the total cost of managing HIV-related cases annually in low and middle-income countries.
The key issue addressed by the four news reports summarized above is the reduction of the impact of HIV and related infections. Although each report presents a different approach, they all focus on how to lower the progression of HIV. However, the fourth report also discusses how to avert HIV-related opportunistic infections through the use of ART. The trend of dealing with HIV/AIDS as depicted in the four news reports closely mirrors the goal of primary and community health care. The main objective of primary and community health care is to reduce as much as possible the impact of HIV through different intervention strategies. For each report, the media represents the subject of HIV/AIDS in a way that encourages the public to keep fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The media has made an effort to prove to stakeholders and the general public that the long-fought war against HIV/AIDS can be won through dedication. Consequently, there is renewed energy in the fight against the pandemic.
Literature Review on HIV/AIDS
Drawing from a study by Greenberg et al. (2015), efforts are being made globally to keep new HIV infections at a minimum, increase access to HIV care, and enhance coordination among different levels of government involved in funding HIV/AIDS-related research, prevention, and care. To enhance efforts to address the challenges of the pandemic, all bodies and individuals involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS are expected to improve the level of care provided by lowering the number of undiagnosed HIV cases, ensuring that those who are HIV positive are retained in well-established facilities where they can easily access appropriate care and support, and helping them to suppress the virus.
In its efforts to support HIV prevention interventions, the Centre for Disease Control provides direct financial support to all health departments in the United States (Greenberg et al., 2015). In addition, the organization also provides support to several community-based organizations in and outside the United States. To a large extent, the funding is meant to take care of basic health activities and to promote HIV-related programs such as testing, risk reduction interventions, and improving treatment adherence. Efforts have also been made to create a link between HIV surveillance and programming activities which were at one time completely separate. Presently, data collected through surveillance of affected individuals provide great support for programming activities. According to Wasti, Simkhada, Randall, and Teijlingen (2009), poorly developed surveillance systems and the inability to access quality services are to blame for increased cases of HIV/AIDS globally.
An important objective of HIV care is to ensure that HIV-infected persons receive optimal care. For inclusiveness, strategies have been put in place to guaranteed continued support to every affected person regardless of their financial position. Increased realization of the importance of HIV care has forced stakeholders to work hard to improve the quality of HIV care programs. To a certain extent, the HIV care program has been used quite extensively to closely monitor the quality of services and to ensure that the affected person is properly taken care of. While it is vital to see to it that the condition of those already affected does not deteriorate, efforts must be made to stop new infections. This should be done by advocating for behavior change among the most vulnerable group. Any risky behavior that can cause infection must be shunned by all means.
Included in HIV care programs is prevention. In a study by Wasti, Simkhada, Randall, and Teijlingen (2009), the ultimate goal of HIV prevention is the prompt behavioral change among the people likely to be affected. Presumably, change in behavior is likely to reduce the prevalence rate of HIV infection. Prevention strategies are also meant to stop the occurrence of new HIV infection cases. While numerous organizations are doing all they can to deal with the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the government has a very important role to play. For a better outcome, it is imperative to have a well-coordinated approach toward the prevention of HIV infection. Without such an approach, the problem will continue to be felt as people suffer from the pandemic.
In my opinion, HIV prevention is greatly affected by several issues. First, the extent of the prevention interventions is quite limited and many affected people are not reached. As earlier explained, this is mainly caused by a lack of enough funds to support an elaborate intervention program. It is thus important for more organizations and individuals to join hands and provide the finances that are necessary for success to be realized. Lack of capable surveillance systems is also a problem that must be addressed by stakeholders if the success of the program is to be realized. There is a need for testing and counseling facilities for early detection and treatment. In addition, communities often face different social and cultural problems that interfere with prevention efforts. Other issues include poor leadership and lack of coordination.
In most developing nations, HIV/AIDS has been linked to poverty and poor standards of living. For this reason, efforts are being made by all stakeholders to create a healthy environment for all players to effectively address the challenges caused by HIV/AIDS. According to David et al. (2007), efforts to reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS can only succeed if all stakeholders join hands in an integrated approach. In the absence of a common strategy moving forward, the disjointed interventions will not help to realize the desired outcome. Ideally, governments should put in place mechanisms to ensure that the poor are not in any way disadvantaged.
Without a doubt, the challenge of HIV/AIDS is very significant for the profession of nursing. An important undertaking for all nursing professionals is to see to it that those who are affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic receive the best care possible. It is thus necessary for those in the nursing profession to keep track of the progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Considering that the HIV/AIDS pandemic has claimed the lives of so many people across the world, the need to reduce its impact has been given top priority. Nursing practitioners should make every effort to understand what is being done by different stakeholders to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
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Compares the Analysis of HIV/AIDS in Media Reports and Professional Nursing Literature
Many similarities exist in the analysis of HIV/AIDS in media reports and professional nursing literature. To start with, both analyses point to the fact that HIV/AIDS prevention interventions are important and must be pursued for the benefit of the public. The two analyses also attempt to show the importance of reducing the rate of HIV infection, especially in the developing nations where the level of poverty is high due to the pandemic. In both cases, it is clear that a consolidated approach is needed for success to be realized in the fight against HIV/AIDS. While disjointed efforts may help to a certain extent, the outcome is not good enough.
However, some differences can be spotted between the two scenarios. The first difference is that the analysis of HIV/IADS in professional nursing literature covers a wider geographical area unlike what is presented by media reports. Therefore, analysis in the professional nursing literature provides more details. The second difference considers the fact that professional nursing literature provides a historical analysis of the issue, unlike media reports that look at the most current state of the issue. Media reports thus make it possible for the reader to be in touch with the current circumstances surrounding HIV/AIDS.
This comparative analysis has several implications for nursing professionals, health care policy, and health care delivery systems. As mentioned earlier, nurses must keep abreast with changes associated with the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It is only by doing so that would prove to be useful in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Without the full knowledge of what is happening as far as addressing the HIV/AIDS challenge is concerned, nursing professionals may fail to support interventions by different groups to eradicate the menace. For students, the comparative analysis is important for understanding what to expect when they start practicing as qualified nursing practitioners. It presents students with a wider picture of what has faced society as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Students must thus be exposed to the real issues encountered in the field as a way of equipping them with important skills that would benefit them in the future.
To fit in the dynamic field of nursing, one must have a clear picture of the details about all that is being done by stakeholders. Health care delivery systems must thus be designed in such a way as to ensure that stakeholders can access all the relevant details for effectiveness. Without the correct data, strategies employed by different stakeholders may fail to realize the desired results. As noted earlier, however, reliable data can only be collected through a well-established surveillance system. Such a system should help stakeholders to closely monitor progression and gather all that is needed for efficient HIV prevention intervention programs.
Based on the discussion presented in this paper, HIV/AIDS is a major concern and continues to be a threat to nations across the world. Although multiple groups and programs are addressing the challenge presented by HIV/AIDS, the war is far from being won. Several HIV prevention interventions have been tried in different places to reduce the impact of the pandemic but more has to be done. One of the challenges faced by society as a result of HIV/AIDS is widespread poverty, especially in developing nations. Dealing with the pandemic also places a very heavy strain on those funding intervention programs. For this reason, it is advisable for those involved in the fight to figure out how to bring other interested parties on board.
As explained in this paper, HIV/AIDS prevention and effective care of affected persons is integral to lowering the damage that may be caused by the pandemic. An effective HIV care program should be in place to support victims as they struggle to overcome the challenges they are bound to face. From the two analyses done in this paper, the need for an integrated approach to dealing with the HIV/AIDS pandemic cannot be underscored. Among other benefits, this will ensure that duplications are avoided and that the desired goal is realized. All stakeholders need to work closely and complement efforts made by others in addressing the challenges presented by HIV/AIDS.
Carter, M. (2016). ART has Averted over 850,000 HIV-Related Opportunistic Infections in Low and Middle Income Countries. Web.
David, A. M., Mercado, S. P., Becker, D., Edmundo, K., & Mugisha, F. (2007). The Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS, TB and Vector-borne Diseases in Informal Settlements: Challenges, Opportunities and Insights. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 84(1), 65 – 74.
Greenberg, A. E., Purcell, D. W., Gordon, C. M., Barasky, R. J. & Rio, C. (2015). Addressing the Challenges of the HIV Continuum of Care in High-Prevalence Cities in the United States. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 69, 1 – 7.
Scripps Research Institute (SRI). (2016). New findings in humans provide encouraging foundation for upcoming AIDS vaccine clinical trial. Web.
University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC). (2016). Enzyme May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Caused by HIV Medications: Study Identifies Enzyme that May Counteract Heart Problems Associated with Antivirals. Web.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). (2016). Researchers Identify Potent Antibodies Against HIV: Structure-Based Approach could Lead to First Effective Vaccine. Web.
Wasti, S. P., Simkhada, P., Randall, J. & Teijlingen, E. (2009).Issues and Challenges of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Programme in Nepal. Global Journal of Health Science, 1(2), 62 – 72.