Nursing Intervention and HIV/AIDS Control
Nursing is a profession that goes beyond ensuring the biological wellbeing of people in the society. In the case where nurses have to deal with HIV and AIDS patients, the ability to touch lives beyond the hospital setting is important. The energy nurses apply in ensuring that patients can take care of their health is hard to compensate. In the case of HIV and AIDS, even international organizations find that they have to take their time to address the spread and analyze how countries in various continents are taking action to manage the virus. For instance in the Middle East according to the World Health Organization report of 2016,gay men are at a 3% higher risk of HIV infections compared to the heterosexual men (World Health Organization, 2016). The report also includes the recommendations that would help reduce and manage the current rising levels of new infections. These recommendations will be highlighted in the essay. Proper nursing methods and approaches will also be mentioned within the essay, as will the concepts of stigmatization, discrimination and social inclusion. The society is part of nursing given the fact that nursing is mainly promoted in the society by the political, social and economic status of the community.
Social inclusion means that a patient is taken as part of the society despite the fact that they are suffering from the HIV/AIDS infection. It is important that people within the society understand that having the infection does not signify the end of a life. It is a viral infection that can be managed with medication. This means that when the nurses ensure that when they take care of the patients, they sensitize the society to ensure that stigmatization is not such a big issue in their day to day lives (Foti, et al., 2015). The people in the society need to be included in the sensitization so that in the event that a person who had not been previously affected or infected by the HIV/AIDS situation is newly affected or infected, they know how to deal with it. Primary health care is the type of health care that an individual receives immediately. It is the type of help that is offered by a professional health practitioner. Primary health care does not just focus on biological health initiatives, but also the social, political and the economical factors as part of the health of an individual. This type of health care will look at people and their health status based on their area of origin, the type of work they do and even how the politics of their environment are run. An area with unstable political status is more likely to have more people falling sick due to poverty or otherwise. Primary health care considers this in its model of operation.
Social inclusion is part of primary health care because it takes part in the molding of individual health of the members of the society. For instance, when a person who was formally discriminated against by the society for being HIV positive is shown more love and acceptance by the society, the likelihood of their economic wellbeing improving is high. They are also more likely to indulge in politics and act as ambassadors for people in the same predicament as them. Social inclusion is the most basic formation of the primary health care in a society. It has been developed and invested heavily upon by the Australian people who are among the healthiest people on earth. The primary health care includes all the components of the health of individuals in relation to the health systems available to them. This implied that the health of people is dependent on the provisions by the quality and availability of the health systems in their community. Individual health of people in the society according to Kralik and Van Loon editors, is mainly safeguarded by the primary health care (Loon, 2011). This caters for the fact that people cannot at all times fall sick due to biological reasons. Sometimes psychological reasons can lead to mental problems. Primary health care steps in at this point to ensure that the stress factors in the society can be handled in order for the medical factors to be given attention. The political, social and economic factors in the life of an individual always determine the wellbeing of an individual. Political instability brings forth economic instability. When the economy is unstable, the society suffers from unrest and this may result in increased crime rates and diseases among people due to lack of proper sanitation and diet.
Discrimination and Stigma
Stigmatization is the situation where the society marks the victims of HIV and AIDS and accords them different treatment with the intention of making them feel out of place. Sometimes stigmatization can be unconscious on the part of the individual stigmatizing the victim. The people who are usually discriminated against for being victims or being vulnerable to HIV infections are gay men, prisoners, drug users, commercial sex workers and transgender individuals according to the World Health Organization report of 2016 (World Health Organization, 2016). The recommendations for dealing with this menace were inclusive but not limited to the use of protection during sex at all times and correctly, the organization proposed that the Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis be made available to more people as a prevention measure, the post-exposure prophylaxis was proposed as a prevention measure as well as availing syringes to drug users to reduce sharing of used needles.
For men who have sex with men, discrimination and stigma is mainly brought about by negative perceptions that people have towards this group of people. Their exposure to HIV and AIDS infections makes the rates of discrimination towards them rise significantly. This is because according to the article, “HIV Stigma and Discrimination,” 50% of people who participated in the study discriminated the people living with the virus (Averting HIV and AIDS , 2017). This means that in these people, those who are men who have sex with men are more likely to face more severe episodes of discrimination because the society is less accepting of gay relationships.
Drug users who inject themselves with the drugs are social outcasts. This is because excessive use of these drugs makes them unfit for work and later they resort to crime to feed their addictions. They often fall further into this habit due to some extent of their inferiority complex as the study in Chennai, India indicated (Latkin, et al., 2010). In this region the use of hard drugs is enough to earn one discrimination, the added weight of being either at risk of infection or being already infected doubles the burden. In the sample size of 851 men, 76% of them reported to have injected the drug within the month. This goes to show how much discrimination is in the region of Chennai.
People in prisons and sex workers are a group of people whose exposure to the virus is immense. Being in prison means that the people on comes into contact with is very limited. In Alabama, for the longest time, prisoners were separated according to their HIV status. Those living with the virus lived miserably and their seclusion exposed them to discrimination by both the guards and other prisoners (McLemore, et al., 2017). In South Carolina, prisoners living with HIV are excluded from programs that would shorten their sentences like work release programs. This is purely discrimination. The sex workers on the other hand are seen to be the immoral members of the society. This means that even when they contract the HIV virus, the discrimination increases from that of being social outcasts to being sick social outcasts. They are likely to be denied treatment and access to proper health care due to their line of work.
Transgender people are member of the society who are born with an undefined sexuality. It is something that an individual grows with and later in life chooses to either live in the gender limbo or select a preferred gender. According to Avert HIV and AIDS, transgender people are at a 49% higher risk of contracting HIV and AIDS (Averting HIV and AIDS, 2017). This means that this is a vulnerable group for starters on top of which discrimination and stigma due to their sexual orientation is high.
Stigma does not differ much from discrimination in terms of who is stigmatized and other social groupings from the victims. For instance; an individual may avoid giving an HIV patient heavy manual task with the assumption that it will be too tasking, the patient on the other hand will feel stigmatized because they feel that thee society thinks they are weak. However, gay men can be stigmatized when they contract the virus because the society around them disapproves of their sexual orientation. They will always argue that the gay men would have remained healthy if they were heterosexual. Stigmatization in the society is a form of creating social exclusion. It breaks the fabric of the society and people grow judgmental. The society cannot remain united in the face stigmatization. The primary health care basis is also broken when people feel excluded from normal life by the people they would otherwise rely on for comfort and security.
Advocating for clients as a form nursing interventions is one of the most effective activities in the management of HIV and AIDS in the society as per the Scenario 3 of the World Health Organization report of 2016. This is because, the clients on their own cannot get the government to act in a way that will ease their suffering by providing cheap medication or health care even after the World Health Organization has presented its report to the member states. This gap is bridged when the nurses take the chance to help their patients by lobbying with the government in order to get the patients the treatment they require. In the spirit of advocating, the nurses can go an extra mile and begin advocating to communities on the issues of dealing with the infection, prevention and how to handle the people who have already been infected. Health care professionals are integral parts of the advocacy of the subject of HIV and AIDS. They are the people to educate the general public and help them understand the viral infection.
The global goal of the scenario 3 by the World Health Organization is meant to reduce HIV infections by managing the current infections. Managing the current infections will entail education people living with and without HIV and AIDS on the importance of preventing its spread. Those already infected require encouragement and support. This will enable them to protect other people against infections because they will not be suffering from social exclusion. Scenario 3 also makes use of advocacy as a means of promoting the goal of preventing new infections and social exclusion of HIV positive individuals. The application of the recommendations in scenario 3 are likely to help governments put measures in place to reduce the rates of new infections (World Health Organization, 2016).
The recommendations by the World Health Organization in scenario 3 are issues that if each country could implement fully, the number of infections would decline. According the report by the World Health Organization, the spread of the virus can be managed and ultimately manage the rates of social stigmatization by following the following recommendations; provision of enough and thorough sensitization to the people about HIV and AIDS, the use of condoms and lubricants to prevent injuries and thus reducing the risks of infections through intercourse and the availability of medication meant to help prevent and manage the virus to more people (World Health Organization, 2016). This will be an indication of success in terms of advocating as a form of nursing intervention to both the government and the people in the society.
In nursing, primary health care is very important in ensuring that people can easily manage their health without necessarily seeking medical attention. The fact that primary health care caters for social inclusion as a way of fighting against discrimination and stigmatization against people living with HIV and AIDS as well as those at risk of contracting the same. It is important that people take charge of their health status and at the same tie be more accepting to those who have been less than lucky and contracted the virus. The ability of the society to follow the recommendations made by the World Health Organization would mean speedy control of the virus and a drastic reduction in the number of new infections. Intimately, the people who have so far taken part in the sensitization of the public in as far as the subject pertaining to HIV and AIDS is concerned, have helped reduce the cases of stigmatization and discrimination by a big size. The focus on developmental issues more than those issues that are a sure way of bringing the society crumbling down is a step in the right direction. Formation of support groups with an aim of helping the patients accept themselves is also important to ensure discrimination and stigmatization does not result in the patients taking longer to manage their health and end up dying prematurely. Well trained nurses in this program are also important.
Averting HIV and AIDS , 2017. HIV stigma and discrimination. [Online]
Available at: www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-social-issues/stigma-discrimination
[Accessed 24 September 2017].
Averting HIV and AIDS, 2017. Averting HIV and AIDS. [Online]
Available at: www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-social-issues/key-affected-populations/transgender
[Accessed 24 September 2017].
Foti, K., T, F. & J, M., 2015. Applying Public Health Principles to the HIV epidemic. How are we Doing?. The New England Journal of Medicine, Issue 373, pp. 2281-2287.
Latkin, C. et al., 2010. The Relationship Between Drug Use Stigma and HIV Injection Risk Behaviours Among Injection Drug Users in Chennai, India, Online: PMC.
Loon, V., 2011. Contexts of Community Nursing. In: K. A. v. Loon, ed. Community Nursing in Australia. Wiley: s.n., pp. 1-112.
McLemore, M., Winter, M. & Walker, J., 2017. Sentenced to Stigma, New York: Human Rights Watch.
World Health Organization, 2016. Consolidated Guidelines on HIV Prevention, Diagnosis, Treatemnt and Care for Key Populatins, Geneva: WHO.
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