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Human Immunodeficiency Virus: Diagnosis and Overview


This paper addresses the human immunodeficiency virus and the aspects associated with it. It discusses the support needs of the interviewee who is living with HIV. The study also refers to the Healthy People 2020 objectives and investigates how they can be implemented to increase patients’ wellness. The paper concludes by discussing the interventions of caregivers that can improve individuals’ physical and mental health and the quality of their lives.

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Support Needs of the Participant

The participant of the interview is a 29-year-old woman that was diagnosed with HIV a year ago. She lives with her parents and is not married. Currently, the patient is taking antiretroviral therapy and is optimistic about it, as it makes her feel better and does not cause any side effects. The young woman admits that she had a depressive period of life after the diagnosis, but her life has almost returned to its usual state. Even though the patient demonstrates good coping skills, is cautious about her life choices, and attentive to her doctor’s recommendations, she supposes that she may never get married or have children. It is necessary to consider all of these details of the woman’s case to discuss the support needs she may have.

The primary support need of the participant is the assistance in family planning. The woman should be informed about the available services, the opportunities for childbirth, and the risks associated with it. It is clear that the patient may want to have children in the future since family is valuable to her. The woman also needs support in preserving her usual quality of life. She has almost adjusted to her new living conditions; however, it is necessary to ensure that the patient will not experience new episodes of depression or lack access to care. Finally, the woman’s source of support is her family and friends. It is vital for them to continue to obtain her support needs, as it is decisive for her well-being and treatment adherence.

Healthy People 2020 Objectives Implementation

Healthy People 2020 objectives considering HIV are to prevent the cases of infection, related illnesses, and death caused by them (Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2018). The National HIV/AIDS Strategy includes three primary goals that are to reduce the number of newly diagnosed patients, improve health conditions for individuals living with HIV and increase their access to care. Moreover, it aims to eliminate the disparities and health inequities related to the disease (Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2018).

There are many ways of the implementation of these objectives to increase wellness. For example, to eliminate the cases of newly diagnosed patients, family planning services can inform women with HIV about the methods of birth control available to them. It can reduce the risks of infection for their partners and prevent unwanted pregnancies. The objective to improve health conditions of people diagnosed with HIV can be implemented by linking the newly diagnosed individuals to medical care within a month after the diagnosis. To improve health conditions of patients, medical professionals can provide them with the necessary therapy, including both medication and psychological assistance. It can be implemented through cognitive-behavioral therapy group sessions and educational training on the current methods of HIV treatment. The objective of reducing disparities associated with the disease can be achieved through state educational programs, aimed to disclose the information about HIV to the public and reduce the stigma associated with the illness. To increase patients’ access to care, it is necessary for the state to develop financing strategies and care programs for economically disadvantaged groups.

Interventions of the Caregiver

Professional caregivers play a significant role in the lives of the people diagnosed with HIV. The World Health Organization (n.d.) reports that counselling can enhance individuals’ quality of life and helps them cope with each stage of their condition effectively. Moreover, for many people, HIV is a significant cause of stress and fear, as it is highly stigmatized in the society. Many individuals face discrimination, the loss of their social and economic status, and employment. Moreover, adherence to the antiretroviral therapy can be challenging for some people infected with the virus.

Possible interventions of the caregiver can regard either psychological or clinical aspect of the disease. A nurse can refer newly diagnosed individuals to other medical professionals according to their needs. It is necessary to ensure the quality of life of HIV-infected patients. For example, even though the interviewee is optimistic about her conditions, it is essential to avoid the worsening of the symptoms. To do so, medical staff, including psychologists, can organize educational sessions on the life with the diagnosis, and all of its aspects. It is crucial for nurses to realize that both newly diagnosed people and those living with HIV for a long time may lack understanding of their condition and either view it as a treatable disease or see it as the ending point of their normal lives.

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I believe that it is also necessary for nurses to explain to the patients what treatment options are available to them. Many people diagnosed with HIV are not aware that the disease can be managed by regular medical therapy. Caregivers should provide individuals with the information on antiretroviral therapy and its benefits, discussing the possible side effects as well. For example, the interviewed patient takes the treatment regularly but is not integrated into her life completely. In this case, medical professionals should ensure that medication schedule is well incorporated into the patient’s new life routine. To do so, they can help the woman to develop a treatment plan that will correspond with her needs.

It is also necessary to underline the role of nurses’ intervention in HIV prevention. The interventions may include supporting adherence to behaviors that prevent the contamination and raising awareness for the importance of HIV prevention (Krishnaratne, Hensen, Cordes, Enstone, & Hargreaves, 2016). For example, nurses can provide the groups at risk of HIV exposure with the information on prevention methods. In the case of the interviewee, a caregiver can inform the woman on the ways of avoiding her future partners’ exposure to the virus.


The support needs of the interviewee include assistance in family planning, the preservation of her usual quality of life, and the continuation of the support of her family and friends. The objectives of Healthy People 2020 can be implemented in family planning services assistance in the prevention of the contamination, advanced therapy including psychological support, and educational programs addressing HIV. Caregivers’ interventions are a significant source of the improvement of individuals’ conditions. They can include establishing educational sessions, referrals to other medical professionals, assistance in developing a medication schedule, and educating the groups at risks about the prevention methods.


Krishnaratne, S., Hensen, B., Cordes, J., Enstone, J., & Hargreaves, J. R. (2016). Interventions to strengthen the HIV prevention cascade: A systematic review of reviews. The Lancet HIV, 3(7), e307-e317.

Office for Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2018). HIV. Reduce new HIV infections. 

World Health Organization. (n.d). HIV/AIDS. Psychosocial support. Web.

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