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Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 651

Essay

HIV

HIV impacts the body because it destroys immune cells. Ultimately, the virus invades CD4+ T-cells in a manner that reprograms them to create more virus. As a consequence, individuals that are impacted with the virus are likely to develop AIDS, which indicates that the immune system is fully compromised. When these CD4+ T-cells are destroyed, the body is unable to fight against infection, which causes these individuals to become extremely sick from a variety of illnesses. For example, the common cold can be deadly in patients with AIDS. The HIV virus is transmitted primarily through bodily fluids and is most likely to be transferred to an individual during sexual intercourse or due to sharing a contaminated needle.

It is important for nurses to be educated regarding the impact of the HIV virus because not only does the nurse need to provide their patients with information regarding the disease, but because they need to ensure that the health care institution remains sterile and that the disease is not transmitted between patients accidentally. As such, nurses need to take care to ensure that blood transfusions are carefully monitored and that all medical equipment is either sterilized or disposed of following use.

There are many medications currently available for the treatment of HIV, and the broad classifications of these drugs include: reverse transcriptase inhibitors, immune-based therapies, pharmacokinetic enhancers, protease inhibitors, entry inhibitors, and integrase inhibitors. These drugs are meant to stop the spread of HIV at a variety of its replications and transmission stages. There are many drugs that should not be used with antiretroviral agents, including some psychotropics, antibiotics, heart medication, and lipid lowering medication (Reeves et al., 2002). Ultimately, the nurse must be aware of these potential drug interactions to ensure that no adverse effects are seen in patients under their care.

ART Therapy

ART therapy should be provided on the basis of the medical professional’s understanding of their patient’s phase of HIV. Providing ART too early could be detrimental because it may cause the virus to evolve to become resistant to the therapy. However, providing it too late could be detrimental as well as the viral load could be too high if this therapy is delayed (Holzammer et al., 2001). On the other hand, providing therapy early could prevent the viral load from hitting this high point. Therefore, it is important for the medical professional to determine the best balance for provision of this therapy.

Nurses who have patients taking ARTs must regularly check their viral loads to determine the type of ART and dose of medication that is relevant for their particular medical case. There are many ethical dilemmas regarding use of ARTs. The most important ethical consideration for individuals taking ARTs is that the therapy is expensive. As a consequence, it is important for the individual responsible for paying for the treatment to be aware of the patient’s health status. If it is the family rather than the individual paying for the medical bill, it seems that they should have the right to be aware of this and be able to speak to the medical staff to determine if a more affordable treatment is available. However, if the patient is paying for the treatment, the patient should retain the right to disclose treatment information with members of their family. Discussions regarding ART therapy should be always discussed with the involved individuals in private to maintain patient confidentiality and it is necessary for the nurse to ensure that all individuals present during these meetings have permission to hear this information (Wafa, 2010).

References

Holzammer S, Holznagel E, Kaul A, Kurth R, Norley S. (2001). High virus loads in naturally       and experimentally SIVagm-infected African green monkeys. Virology, 283(2): 324–31.

Reeves J, Doms R. (2002). Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 2. Journal of General Virology, 83 (6): 1253–65.

Wafa, Tim. (2010). How the Lack of Prescriptive Technical Granularity in HIPAA Has    Compromised Patient Privacy. Northern Illinois University Law Review, 30(3).

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