Essay on An Epidemic

Essay on An Epidemic

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HIV/AIDS: Conquering an Epidemic Through Community Outreach
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a pandemic disease that has gained worldwide attention over the past few decades affecting populations both in the United States and internationally. Diseases such as these are the very reasons epidemiology evolved into a medical science. HIV/AIDS is part of the era of eco-epidemiology where both local and global health patterns are analyzed (Allender, Rector, & Warner, 2010, pp. 173-175). It is estimated that over 1 million Americans are living with HIV or AIDS, and many of these people are not even aware that they carry the virus (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010). Life expectancy has increased for those who have HIV/AIDS, but they still suffer from many associated health conditions that require thousands of dollars in medical care on an annual basis. Adherence to prescribed therapies is also an issue as well as stigmatization of individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (Larsen & Lubkin, 2009). Primary preventative care has become a central focus across the United States especially among high-risk populations.
Nationally, Florida is second for the number of adult and adolescent reported AIDS cases in the United States with 4,392 cases reported in 2009 (CDC, 2010). Duval County reported 274 cases of HIV/AIDS between 2008 and 2010 placing itself fifth in incidence rate in the state of Florida (Florida Department of Health, 2010a). Among the population within Duval County, 30 people per 100,000 are HIV/AIDS positive compared to the state average of 22 (Florida Department of Health, 2010a). It should also be noted that although the rest of the state of Florida has tr...


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...HHSTP, 2010). The CDC also states that they are taking into consideration cultural aspects, high-risk communities, and community planning needs when designing future steps to prevent the spread of HIV in the state of Florida (CDC & NCHHSTP, 2010). This is a positive approach that will hopefully encourage the downward trend in infection rates that has been seen over the past decade. Despite the optimistic outlook, it cannot be ignored that Florida is reporting over twice the national average in new cases annually, and has done so continuously since mandatory reporting began in 1998 (Henry K. Kaiser Foundation, 2009c; Florida Department of Health, 2010a). There is obviously a lack of communication between the current prevention strategies and the multi-cultural, multi-lingual people of state of the Florida. This must become the focus over the next decade.




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