At 61 years old, Grace Ndombo has been diagnosed with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome after exposure to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This happened, although she had been celibate for several years before this discovery, and she couldn’t figure out where she got it from. HIV, commonly seen as a death sentence, was unheard of in her residential area and resulted in severe stigmatization, but this drove her even more to be a beacon of hope. As a nurse, I know that HIV is untreatable, but this doesn’t mean that a patient is helpless. I would focus on the patient’s personal care and teach her how to care for herself and others around her. A little counseling would also go a long way in helping the patient not feel like a misfit in today’s society.
HIV is essentially an immune system-altering virus that raises the risks and effects of more infections and diseases and changes it. The infection can progress to a more advanced stage called AIDS without treatment. HIV is a “human immunodeficiency virus” that harms CD4 immune cells. These are the kinds of T cells, which diagnose body-wide infections and failures and irregularities in other cells circulated by white blood cells.
It is an advanced stage of HIV infection, called AIDS, which stands for the ‘acquired immune deficiency syndrome.’ If a person with HIV is not treated, AIDS will grow as the immune system gradually declines. However, progression to AIDS has been progressively reduced by antiretroviral therapies. The chances of developing AIDS from HIV are widespread between people; they can include the age of the person, the capacity of the body to protect itself from HIV, good health care accessibility, the prevalence of new infections, genetic tolerance of individuals to certain forms of HIV or strain, since some of these strains are medical resistant.
HIV may be transmitted when an infected person’s body fluids, such as breast milk, blood, pre-seminal fluid, semen, rill rectal fluid, and vaginal fluids, come in contact with a permeable blood barrier small moist tissue breakdowns in an uninfected person’s body. Sexual intercourse is one of the major causes of HIV transmission worldwide. For months or even years after contraction, some people still do not exhibit any HIV symptoms. Studies show that one in seven people with HIV do not know they have it in the U.S. Although it may be impossible that anyone who does not display any symptoms is likely to look for treatment, the transmission risk remains very high. In regards to this, experts are suggesting routine testing so that everybody knows their HIV status.
Meanwhile, approximately 80% of HIV patients experience flu symptoms approximately 2 to 6 weeks after the infection has begun. These symptoms are known as acute retroviral syndrome. They may include fever, chills, sweating, particularly in the night, increased glands or swollen lymph nodes, diffuse rash, weakness, pain including joint pain, muscle pain, and a sore throat.
Grace is especially prone to HIV progression as an osteoporosis patient. This is a bone disease that arises when either the body produces too little bone or produces too much. Osteoporosis means ‘porous bone’ and causes bones to become brittle and break from falling or sneezing or small bumps. Healthy bones look like a honeycomb when seen under a microscope. A treatment decision of osteoporosis is often made using data such as a bone density test to predict the likelihood of breaking a bone over the next ten years. If your risk is not high, care does not include medications and may instead concentrate on dropping risk factors of breaking a bone. Bisphosphonates are the most commonly administered drugs for both men and women at an elevated risk of fracture.
Vitals expected in such a patient include fever, hypotension, tachycardia, and tachypnea. The skin is expected to show folliculitis, psoriasis, skin lesions, and seborrheic dermatitis. Eyes show retinal hemorrhages and retinal infiltrates. Nasal inflammation is seen depending on the disease’s stage, whereas unilateral or bilateral ear deafness is mostly seen. On abdominal palpation, tenderness, hepatomegaly, and splenomegaly are seen. On auscultation, crackles or rhonchi are heard. Dullness on percussion is also noted.
Evidently, the viral load of HIV does not have treatment. Take other precautions, for example;
Using condoms to avoid transmitted sexual inflammation (STIs)
Identification of environmental factors that contributes to infection
Vaccinating against potential opportunistic infections
Avoiding foods with high contamination risks
Not ingesting water directly from rivers or unfiltered taps.
Asking a doctor about relevant ways to limit exposure to pathogens
Medicines for the prevention of opportunistic infections can be either be antibiotics, antifungals, or anti parasites.
Frailty is characterized by reduced physical reserves and is commonly known as a condition of increased vulnerability in old age. The latter’s phenotype is distinguished by these characteristics: sluggish speed, loss of weight, fatigue exhaustion, and reduced activity level. Since the early stages of the AIDS outbreak, the overlap between HIV and frailty has been noted. The prevalence of frailty in routine HIV treatment has been between 5% and 33%. In one study, frailty occurred earlier in people who are HIV-infected compared to HIV-negative individuals.
With body activity greatly reduced, I’d focus on improving the mental stability of Grace. At such old ages, the body’s metabolism is greatly reduced, thus hindering quick recovery instead of younger patients. A stronger will to fight the disease would best serve Grace, though it wouldn’t be as effective as taking more medication. At 60 years old, I believe giving her hope and making her believe she could recover will be very effective in her treatment.
HIV and AIDS counseling is also a central aspect of an overall wellness paradigm that acknowledges psychological problems as an important component of patient management.
For persons who test for HIV, whether the outcome is positive or negative, counseling in clinical settings has a beneficial impact on risk behaviors and sexually transmitted disease incidence and costs very little to implement. After a couple of sessions, Grace recognized that the mind’s development is more important than the body’s development. She is recovering quite well and feels stronger as she takes her medication. HIV has taught Grace to enjoy life a little more and give back the love she receives as it is no death sentence.
Grace should continue with both her medication and counseling sessions to help improve her health. As a nurse, I would advise her to avoid any form of communication that promotes stigmatization and strictly follow her dosage for effective recovery.
Chippindale, S., & French, L. (2001, June 23). ABC of AIDS: HIV counseling and the psychosocial management of patients with HIV or AIDS. PubMed Central (PMC).Order Now