It could be hardly doubted that population-based communicable illnesses cause significant adverse effects on both state and local levels. Sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS are among the most widespread epidemiological ailments in the United States. However, numerous initiatives aim to decrease STD and HIV incidence, most notably Healthy People 2020. In this paper, the epidemiological and surveillance data of Miami, Florida (33101) will be discussed alongside with the analysis of three population-based communicable illnesses. Additionally, there will be provided a plan of action against those diseases.
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Healthy People 2020 Initiative Overview
First of all, it is essential to give a brief overview of the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) program. In general, it is an initiative held by the U.S. government which aims to develop a set of objectives to improve the health condition of the American population. It comprises of numerous subdivisions dedicated to a particular disease or a complex of diseases. For this study, three illnesses were chosen: AIDS, gonorrhea, and syphilis. As HIV infections continue to be one of the major public health crisis, HP2020 sets an overall goal of preventing the virus and related illnesses from spreading (HIV, 2018). Gonorrhea and syphilis are also included in the initiative because they are among the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases. The following goals are set: “to promote healthy sexual behaviors, to increase access to quality services, and to strengthen community capacity” (Sexually transmitted diseases, 2018). The particular objectives concerning each of the mentioned illnesses will be discussed later.
Epidemiological and Surveillance Data
As a second step of the study, it is critical to discuss epidemiological and surveillance data related to Miami, Florida. First of all, the most recent monthly report, provided by Florida Department of Health, will be employed to overview the current epidemiological condition. It is evident that the AIDS incidence rate shows positive tendency with 465 and 372 cases in 2016 and 2017 respectively (Miami-Dade monthly diseases report, 2017). It is possible to notice that this trend is due to HIV surveillance services, which include community organizations, researchers, policymakers, caregivers, city planners, and local officials and agencies (HIV surveillance, 2018). However, gonorrhea and syphilis incidence rates show a more negative tendency. The number of gonorrhea diseased people increased from 1975 to 3056 in two years (Miami-Dade monthly diseases report, 2017). Syphilis incidence rates do not show positive changes; however, they do not increase either.
Analysis and Plan of Action
It is possible to move on to the stage of analysis and planning of action against three population-based communicable diseases that were chosen for the study. First of all, AIDS should be analyzed since it is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the United States (Castel, Magnus, & Greenberg, 2015). Healthy People 2020 initiative sets the following objectives: “to reduce new HIV infections, to increase HIV testing and prevention of HIV risk, to increase access to care, and to improve health outcomes for people living with HIV” (HIV, 2018). Each of these objectives comprises of more specific goals.
In support of HP2020 initiative, several community prevention services of Miami, Florida should be mentioned. First of all, The Business Responds to AIDS (BRTA) is a domestic public-private partnership that aims to reduce stigma and discrimination, enhance personal commitment, and to promote education about the disease (Community prevention, 2018). Additionally, there is the Faith Responds to AIDS initiative, the Sistas Organizing to Survive (this organization encourages black women to get tested and spread awareness), and the Miami Collaborative MSM Workgroup (Community prevention, 2018). Also, it is vital to inform the patients about non-AIDS complications of HIV infections since they are less known among the population (Castro, Granovsky, Jones, & Weiss, 2015).
Further, it is essential to discuss the STDs which were chosen for analysis. Both gonorrhea and syphilis are sexually transmitted, thus everyone who is sexually active is exposed to the risk of incidence. Both of the illnesses can cause severe complications if they are not appropriately treated, but with adequate medication, they can be cured easily. According to HP2020 initiative, the following objectives are set: “to reduce gonorrhea rates among males and females aged 15 to 44 years, to reduce sustained domestic transmission of primary and secondary syphilis, and to reduce congenital syphilis” (Sexually transmitted diseases, 2018). It is essential for the community to help the government in fighting the illnesses because the population significantly suffers from spreading of STD. The most important action is the community-based education and awareness spreading about the diseases.
Based on the brief study of the epidemiological situation in Miami, Florida and the initiatives which are implemented to decrease the incidence rate, it is possible to come to several conclusions. Firstly, the Healthy People 2020 initiative is one of the most important health policies which are held by the government. However, the community support is also of critical importance. Secondly, it is possible to notice that Florida Department of Health obtained significant success in decreasing AIDS rates, which is partially due to work of community prevention services. Nevertheless, the trends of new gonorrhea and syphilis infections are less positive, and they are to be improved.
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Castel, A. D., Magnus, M., & Greenberg, A. E. (2015). Update on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS in the USA. Current Epidemiology Reports, 2(2), 110-119.
Castro, J. G., Granovsky, I., Jones, D., & Weiss, S. M. (2015). STD clinic patients’ awareness of non-AIDS complications of HIV infection. Journal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care, 14(3), 207-210.
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Miami-Dade monthly diseases report. (2017). Web.
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