Colin Powell (2001) once said, “No war on the face of the earth is more destructive than the AIDS epidemic”. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also known as HIV, is a global epidemic that has traditionally been linked to individuals who partake in risky behaviors; however in today’s society, HIV has no face. It does not discriminate against race, gender, age, sexual preference, or socioeconomic status. According to AIDS.gov (2014), “HIV is a virus that only affects humans and weakens the immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection”. As of 2009, there was an estimated 1,148,200 persons in the United States over the age of thirteen living with HIV (CDC, 2012). The CDC estimates that “approximately 50,000 people are newly infected with HIV every year” (CDC, 2011). With these overwhelming statistics, it is important to educate everyone on ways to prevent the spread of HIV and cope with their diagnosis.
Because HIV does not discriminate, there are many people who may be infected and may not exhibit any external or physical signs of infection. One example of this is a woman named G.G. G.G is 42 year-old local native who lives alone. She has been living with HIV for the past seventeen years. On June 5, 1997, G.G. became aware of her diagnosis through routine screening. She recalls it as being one of the most devastating moments of her life.
Signs and Symptoms
Persons that are newly infected with HIV may have many of the same classic signs and symptoms such as fatigue, malaise, gastrointestinal problems, and lymphadenopathy (Porth, 2011). However once the disease is in the latent phase, many people do not exhibit any symptoms; they do not look like they have HIV. While interviewing G.G., one...
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...udy. The smaller the sample size, the harder it is to represent the whole population. Another weakness of this research study was because the researcher decided to analyze the audiotaped data, there could be some bias. The researcher could have misinterpreted the family’s thoughts or words, which can lead to misleading information.
It is important for nurses to develop therapeutic and meaningful relationships with patients living with HIV in order to create trusting nurse-patient relationship that fosters healing. Through medication, counseling, activism, and education, persons living with HIV can begin to change the stigma associated with this vicious disease. In the words of G.G (2104), “I have HIV but HIV doesn’t have me” is a wonderful reminder of how people can still live vicarious lives with the diagnosis of HIV.
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- Introduction Colin Powell (2001) once said, “No war on the face of the earth is more destructive than the AIDS epidemic”. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also known as HIV, is a global epidemic that has traditionally been linked to individuals who partake in risky behaviors; however in today’s society, HIV has no face. It does not discriminate against race, gender, age, sexual preference, or socioeconomic status. According to AIDS.gov (2014), “HIV is a virus that only affects humans and weakens the immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection”.... [tags: HIV, AIDS, Immune system, Immunodeficiency]
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