Drug Treatments for HIV and AIDS
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS and Complacency
The increasing incidence of HIV/AIDS is a major concern to health professionals and key healthcare stakeholders. Various factors interact and cause the rising incidence of the disease. Therefore, it is impossible to single out one factor and blame it solely for the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Some causes of the rising incidences of the disease include socioeconomic issues such as poverty and inaccessible healthcare among the high-risk population. The high-risk group consists of homosexuals, bisexuals, injection drug users, and commercial sex workers. Additionally, ignorance augments the indulgence in risky behavior and non-adherence to treatment schedules thereby increasing the prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS (Janice et al., 2002).
Complacency among the high-risk groups plays a major role in the increasing prevalence of HIV/ AIDS. Satisfaction with the success of the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) gives this group a false sense of security because of poor interpretation of the success of the therapy (Janice et al., 2002). However, most of these people are unaware of the risk carried by long-term use of antiretroviral drugs.
The Role of Healthcare Workers (HCWs) in Raising HIV/AIDS Awareness
Healthcare professionals possess adequate information about HIV/AIDS. Therefore, they are better placed to fight for better health of the public by increasing awareness of the disease. This objective is attainable through initiating activities such as prompt HIV/AIDS testing and prevention of mother-to-child transmissions (PMTCT). Early diagnosis through testing enables timely initiation of therapy for a better prognosis while PMTCT services elevate the chances of preventing the infection of newborns. Educating the masses on the precise mechanism of HAART reduces ignorance and complacency thereby helping reduce new cases of infection as people become aware that HIV/AIDS has no cure. Raising awareness of the importance of balanced diets and healthy lifestyles is also crucial in reducing HIV/AIDS morbidity.
HCWs need to focus on enlightening vulnerable groups especially women and girls who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus than their male counterparts. In addition, HCWs should promote healthy reproductive practices through the consolidation of resources such as family planning and counseling services (Aral, Fenton, Lipshutz, 2012). Counseling services for discordant couples help them learn to minimize the chances of infecting each other. The fight against violence, stigma, and discrimination is also an important facet in psychological support as it helps reduce stress thereby promoting health.
Strategies in Patient Education on Adherence to Drugs and Prevention of Infection
Strategies in patient education require tailoring to suit patients’ needs. These strategies include constant education as well as psychological and community support. Therefore, resources set aside to fight HIV/AIDs ought to be directed towards the patients and the healthcare providers.
One of the psychosocial strategies is employing a partner involvement approach in providing moral support to HIV/AIDS patients. Another stratagem is putting HIV/AIDS patients in support groups where they interact, support, and educate each other on the importance of drug adherence. Additionally, raising awareness on the mechanism of dissemination of the infection is vital in such groups (Collins-Bride & Saxe, 2011, p. 349).
Educating HIV/ADS patients about the probable side effects of HAART and the proper management of these side effects help reduce default rates. Promotion of adherence strategies also involves enlightening patients on possible drug-drug or food-drug interactions, which may increase the adverse effects and non-compliance in HAART.
Prevention of new infections can be attained by proper education on the mechanisms of HIV/AIDS transmission. Evidence suggests that avoiding the usage of recreational drugs that lower immune system function correlates with a reduction in HIV/AIDS transmission.
Therefore, campaigns against drug abuse ought to be mounted to curb the scourge. Another way of preventing new transmissions is advising HIV-positive individuals to refrain from donating blood, particularly in emergencies where the blood may not undergo rigorous testing to ensure that it is safe for transfusion. This measure is likely to reduce the risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS to other people. Ultimately, there is a need to curb high-risk sexual behavior to prevent the infection of multiple sexual partners (Swearingen, 2011, p. 513).
Aral, O. S., Fenton, K. A., & Lipshutz, J. A. (2012). The new public health and STD/HIV prevention: Personal, public and health. New York: Springer Science & Business Media.
Collins-Bride, G. M. & Saxe, J. M. (2011). Clinical guidelines for advanced practice. San Francisco: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Janice, E. N., Speer, D. C., Watson, B. J., Watson, M. R., Vergon, T. L., Vallee, C. M., & Meah, J. M. (2002). Aging with HIV: Psychological, social, and health issues. California: Academic Press.
Swearingen, P. L. (2011). All-in-one care planning resource. Missouri: Elsevier Mosby.