Statistics on HIV among adolescents
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014), people who are aged between 13 and 24, account for approximately 26 percent of newly-acquired HIV infections in America (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Yet, one should mention that teenagers make only 17 percent of the total American population. Thus, one can say that adolescents are at a greater risk of being affected by this disease. Additionally, approximately 16 percent of these individuals are not aware of their illness (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). Therefore, they can easily contribute the spread of HIV. This is one of the main dangers that should be taken into account.
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The impact of nurse practitioners
Nurses can play an important role in minimizing this problem by acting as educators (Butts & Rich, 2013, p. 161). In particular, they can raise teenagers’ awareness about the ways in which the risks of HIV can be minimized. Moreover, they can limit the spread of this disease. As it has been said before, many of these people do not know whether they are infected or not. As a result, they can unwillingly infect others. Overall, nurses can change adolescents’ perceptions of HIV testing. It should be mentioned that education is one of the roles that modern nurses are supposed to play (Vallano, 2008).
The affected population
Nurses can work with students attending the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. These individuals can only start their sexual lives, and at this point, they are more vulnerable to the risks of HIV. The increased prevalence of HIV among the representatives of this age group can partly be attributed to drug abuse. This is why much attention should be paid to the needs of these people.
Overall, it is possible to offer the following intervention that can address this problem. In particular, one should distribute leaflets that would encourage sexually-active adolescents to check their HIV status. Nurses should take part in the design of these leaflets because they are able to identify the main details that should be considered by teenagers. It is important to demonstrate that by determining one’s HIV status, one can avoid many pitfalls. In particular, he/she can prolong his/her life. One should keep in mind that modern medication enables a patient to live for a long time. Moreover, this individual will not pose a threat to his/her sexual partners. This is the main message that should be conveyed to teenagers. Moreover, these leaflets should include guidelines about the way in which HIR can be transmitted and the likelihood of infections can be reduced. Furthermore, these leaflets should provide contact information. In particular, adolescents should be able to contact nurses via a crisis hotline in order to discuss various aspects of HIV. These are the main elements of this intervention. The success of this intervention will depend on the design of leaflets. They should capture the attention of teenagers. Moreover, nurses, who adolescents may contact via the hotline, should clearly explain why people should not avoid HIV testing.
There are several ways in which one can evaluate the efficiency of the proposed intervention. It is possible to distribute questionnaires combining various types of questions. For instance, they can be related to such aspects as the use of contraception, HIV testing, and treatment. These surveys should be administered before and after the distribution of leaflets. In this way, one can understand whether the proposed intervention has changed the attitudes of adolescents.
Butts, J., & Rich, K. (2013). Nursing Ethics: Across the Curriculum and Into Practice. New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). HIV Among Youth. Web.
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Vallano, A. (2008) Your Career in Nursing: Manage Your Future in the Changing World of Healthcare. New York, NY: Kaplan Publishing.