The public health campaign addresses the issue of HIV prevention among young adults. The target group was selected due to its representatives’ high vulnerability to the identified health problem. The paper incorporates three significant components of the successful organization of the project. The first element is the use of systems thinking as a holistic approach to the health issue. The second component is the employment of research dedicated to the health problem. The third constituent is the use of interprofessional collaboration as an effective method of managing the HIV prevention process. Each of these elements is regarded by the public health professional. Pertinent data, examples, and evidence are offered to illustrate the selected problem better. The knowledge and skills necessary for public health professionals to address the health issue effectively are identified. Particular attention is paid to the arrangement of interprofessional collaboration, its drivers, and predictors. The aspects of teamwork that promote positive public health campaign outcomes are identified. The usefulness of research in the process of arranging a prevention project is analyzed. In the conclusion, the main points of the paper are summarized, and the skills necessary for productive work are reiterated.
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The purpose of the present paper is to offer an overview of the approaches a public health professional can use while implementing a public health campaign on HIV prevention in young adults. Because there are currently no successful treatment methods for this disease, prevention is the most effective way of saving youth from developing HIV. The selected target group is the most vulnerable to the health issue because of substance abuse and unsafe sexual behaviors. The paper will discuss how systems thinking, research and interprofessional collaboration can help the public health professional to create favorable conditions for preventing HIV in young adults.
The Use of Systems Thinking to Impact the Target Population’s Health
Given the severity of the effects that HIV can have on people’s health, public health professionals need to employ a variety of approaches in their preventive work. One of the most productive methods is including systems thinking in the process of work. This approach presupposes a holistic analysis of the issue by taking into consideration the interrelation of elements within some system (Battle-Fisher, 2015). With the help of systems thinking, one can reappraise policies “under a new critical eye” (Battle-Fisher, 2015, p. 5). Thus, this manner of analysis can benefit the public health professional’s work aimed at preventing HIV.
There is not much current evidence on the application of systems thinking in HIV prevention. According to Brown et al. (2015), some efforts have been made by Australian, British, and German specialists who introduced the approach in their interventions. What concerns the USA, systems thinking is viewed as a viable solution to reducing the growth of HIV infection rates (Meyerson, Ryder, van Hippel, & Coy, 2013). One of the aspects of current discussions is that the role of pharmacists in the process of preventing the spread of HIV is underestimated (Meyerson et al., 2013). While public health professionals advise individuals to test for HIV, they rarely consider the potential of the help one can get at the pharmacy. Consequently, it is crucial to revise the current methods and include a variety of aspects that can promote HIV prevention, such as the help of professionals at the drug store, the possibility of communicating with pharmacists and public health professionals, and the opportunity to manage the problem from different perspectives.
The Use of Research to Affect the Target Population’s Health
When planning preventive measures, the public health professional needs to recognize research as a vital component of any intervention’s success. According to pertinent data offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many efforts are made to perform high-quality research on various aspects of HIV (CDC, 2017). In particular, the results of investigations on the development and assessment of HIV behavioral interventions aimed at preventing the disease’s transmission are available (CDC, 2017). Another useful piece of research evidence is offered by Mavedzenge, Baggaley, and Corbett (2013) who investigate self-testing for HIV as a means of prevention. Public health professionals could employ these data to collect evidence on the most successful prevention interventions and later use it to plan their activity.
The Use of Interprofessional Collaboration
The systems thinking approach is closely associated with interprofessional collaboration since both of these methods involve viewing health issues from different perspectives. Interprofessional collaboration is reported to have a positive impact on HIV prevention, to promote the spread of data, and to support the efforts of the public health professionals in the process of work with the target population (Peu et al., 2014). Collaboration in the course of preventive and care measures plays a crucial role due to assistance in planning, implementing, supervising, and assessing various strategies (Peu et al., 2014). Thus, the public health professional needs to carefully evaluate the possibilities of interprofessional collaboration and find ways of inviting other specialists to participate in the HIV prevention program.
A recent example of collaboration in the process of HIV prevention is the work of the interprofessional team in Eskenazi Infectious Disease Clinic in Indianapolis. In 2017, collaborative practice connected specialists from different departments, as well as students, to carry out the HIV prevention and care pilot project (“Interprofessional collaborative practice,” 2017). It is noted that to arrange such practice most practically, the efforts of public health professionals need to be reinforced by other healthcare workers. The project proved to be productive, and it is expected that other collaborative teams will engage in such a practice.
In research dedicated to interprofessional collaboration, much attention is paid to the identification of the elements that can promote this type of work. Franklin, Bernhardt, Lopez, Long-Middleton, and Davis (2015) outline the following aspects of teamwork that can lead to successful interprofessional collaboration: shared understanding, egalitarianism, cooperation, interdependence, and synergy. Mavronicolas, Laraque, Shankar, and Campbell (2017) note that the major drivers of collaboration are social exchange factors. What concerns the most crucial predictor of interprofessional collaboration, Mavronicolas et al. (2017) note that it is the relationship initiation. Therefore, the public health professional needs to take into consideration the variety of possible predictors and drivers of collaboration and select the most viable ones to arrange the successful collaboration aimed at HIV prevention.
The paper has focused on three approaches that can reinforce the efforts of public health professionals in their work on HIV prevention among young adults: the use of systems thinking, research, and interprofessional collaboration. The skills and knowledge expected of public health professionals to address the selected public health issues include the ability to initiate and arrange relationships, egalitarianism, synergy, and interdependence. The public health nurse should also be able to collect and analyze research evidence to approach the problem of HIV prevention most comprehensively. When all the mentioned aspects are taken into consideration, the results of the public health campaign are likely to be rather positive.
Battle-Fisher, M. (2015). Application of systems thinking to health policy & public health ethics: Public health and private illness. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
Brown, G., Reeders, D., Dowsett, G. W., Ellard, J., Carman, M., Hendry, N., & Wallace, J. (2015). Investigating combination HIV prevention: Isolated interventions or complex system. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 18(1), 20499.
CDC. (2017). HIV/AIDS: Research. Web.
Franklin, C. M., Bernhardt, J. M., Lopez, R. P., Long-Middleton, E. R., & Davis, S. (2015). Interprofessional teamwork and collaboration between community health workers and healthcare teams: An integrative review. Health Services Research and Managerial Epidemiology, 2, 1-9.
Interprofessional collaborative practice in HIV prevention and care pilot project results. (2017). MATEC-Indiana. Web.
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Mavedzenge, S. N., Baggaley, R., & Corbett, E. L. (2013). A review of self-testing for HIV: Research and policy priorities in a new era of HIV prevention. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 57(1), 126-138.
Mavronicolas, H. A., Laraque, F., Shankar, A., & Campbell, C. (2017). Understanding the drivers of interprofessional collaborative practice among HIV primary care providers and case managers in HIV care programmes. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 31(3), 368-375.
Meyerson, B., Ryder, P. T., van Hippel, C., & Coy, K. (2013). We can do more than just sell the test: Pharmacist perspectives about over-the-counter rapid HIV tests. AIDS and Behavior, 17(6), 2109-2113.
Peu, M. D., Mataboge, S., Chinouya, M., Jiyane, P., Rikhotso, R., Ngwenya, T., & Mulaudzi, F. M. (2014). Experiences and challenges of an interprofessional community of practice in HIV and AIDS in Tshwane district, South Africa. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 28(6), 547-552.