Hiv a Communicable Disease

HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a communicable disease that was once considered a death sentence years ago. It is a disease that is contracted by the exchange of bodily fluids such as blood, semen, and vaginal secretions. Persons can be affected by the disease for years without knowing it. To date, blood tests that pick up the antibody is the only way of detecting it. Patients may be asymptomatic, which means the disease is present, however, symptoms are not. Many efforts have been made to control it and environmental factors that relate to the disease have been discovered.

The influences of the lifestyle, socioeconomic status and disease management have also been reviewed. Research will reveal gaps and possible links to other resources to meet needs that are not locally available along with recommendations to expand the programs that communities offer to fill present and potential gaps. Public health departments are increasing efforts to reduce the threat of the disease which includes data findings, evidence-based intervention, and a plan to ensure quality health.

By definition, a communicable disease is “a disease that is contagious and is transmitted by direct contact with a person that is infected or by contact with body fluids” (Webster, 2012). In order to comprehend the seriousness of the spread of a communicable disease, it is important to know how it’s transmitted and the persons that are more susceptible to contract it. Once thought of a disease that only affected a certain class of people, HIV has now affected more heterosexual women.

There are many men that are having bisexual relationships while married, which is causing the drastic increase in women. Environmental factors related to the disease have not been considered in the past, however, a study was done in Jackson, MS to assess the effect of selected factors such as climate, personal outlooks, guidelines, physical buildings, transportation, etc. Being selected based on age, diagnosis, and status of the disease, these participants gave written permission, personal demographics sheets and questionnaires.

“Some reported that getting medical care, negative provider patient relationships, societal attitudes and funding were definite environmental barriers” (MDH, 2006). The influence of the lifestyles, socioeconomic status and disease management was also under review during this study. It was discovered that, along with the environmental barriers that were previously mentioned, people often look down on those that have the disease without giving any real thought to their feelings or even how the disease was contracted initially.

Some viewed it as a “got what you deserve” illness, expressing that individuals engaging in certain types of lifestyles, received the punishment of God. Managing the disease as of today has become easier because of the federally funded programs that are now in place that will assist patients with available resources that will sustain life. Though the medication regime is bountiful, patients are able to carry on normal daily activities. Lifestyles remain the same, however, more patients are more opened with regards to admitting their HIV status when possibly engaging in new relationships.

As of now, the gaps that might have existed in the communities seem to be closing, as more people are more opened minded and accepting of the patients that have the disease. To determine the possible ones that still exist, it would be feasible to join in with some of the planning and do extensive research by gathering information regarding the wants, needs, and desires of the patients. Interacting with other communities that have successful outcomes and resources would be a valuable investment.

By utilizing all levels of government while working together great outcomes can be expected. In the event that the need arises to expand the communities’ programs, should gaps occur, it will be necessary to incorporate outside resources that are in-line with the guidelines of HIPAA. It is recommended that “ involving senior leadership when identifying community issues, performing a gap analysis, prioritizing needs, and selecting resources will assist in closing the gap” (IHI, 2011).

The public health department is currently trying to reduce the threat of the disease by distributing condoms, advertising with social medias, providing clinic wide interventions, providing screenings for at risks patients free of charge. An executive summary was provided by the White House that is geared towards the prevention, treatment and education of HIV. It was designed to “outline the goals, intentions, and tactics for administering ideal outcomes with regards to prevention and treatment to decrease the number of infections” (DHHS, 2011).

This summary also includes the ideal visions of the community with regards to delivering care to the HIV patients without limitations for those that are financially challenged. HIV is a communicable disease that, in the past, was viewed as a disease that was handed out as a punishment from God because of certain lifestyles. To date, patients with HIV are living longer lives thanks to the direct involvement of all levels of government without regards to a person’s inability to pay for services.

Environmental factors were not considered until recently and are now being included when trying to consider the best course of action for the HIV patient. Lifestyles, socioeconomic statuses and disease management are all important. Gaps that could occur should be reviewed and dealt with accordingly under the guidelines of HIPAA. The public health department has become a valuable resource for reducing the threat of the disease. To date, the Executive Summary that was issued by the White House contains a plan of action that will ensure quality health for everyone.


Department of Health and Human Services. (Spring, 2011). Houston Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of HIV/AIDS. Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/hiv/strategy Institute for Healthcare Improvement. (2011, Spring). Identify the Remedy Current Gaps in Community Resources for HIV Patients. Retrieved from http://www. ihi. org/ Merriam Webster Dictionary. (2013). Merriam Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from http://webster. com The Effects of Environmental Factors on Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. (2009, July). Env Resp Public Health, 6(7), 2041-2054. doi:10. 3390/ijerph6072041.

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