Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus

The paper “Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus Positive Patient” is a perfect example of a case study on category. Statistics says by 2001, 40 million people were living with HIV /AIDS and more than 20 million had already died of AIDS, with above half of all new HIV infection was found to occur among young people, found to be increased from 3.9% in 1999 to 4.2 % in 2004.Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, 2004. Accessed March 7, 2004.).

Outline of the disease/ Health problem:

The causative organism, Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a retrovirus primarily infects and destroys primarily white blood cells, resulting in a breakdown of the immune system. The CD4+ T cells, that is crucial for the immune response and signaling is the main target of HIV, resulting in ion a weakened immune system, rendering it for the body unfit to fight certain infections. With the depletion of these cells, the immunity decline and with opportunistic infections occurs, resulting in an infected patient, described as having the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus


(Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research, Center,2007)

.generally the common secondary infections seen in AIDS are, infections of the lungs, intestinal tract, brain, eyes, and other organs, as well as debilitating weight loss, diarrhea, neurological conditions and cancers such as Kaposi’s sarcoma and certain types of lymphomas.

The causative agent of AIDS is a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) belongs to the family of human retrovirus and subfamily of lentiviruses. HIV is spread most commonly by sexual contact, infected blood, the sharing of needles or syringes, from mother to their fetuses during pregnancy or birth, or by breast milk that contains virus.

The best care setting for the patient would,

  • If he is asymptomatic – palliative outpatient care and home care
  • It is symptomatic, palliative inpatient care followed by home based care.Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Palliative care‘s basic ideology is to both provide the care and comfort, which is the best fitting in this stage. The decision as explained is based on the stage, the patient’s mentality and the reaction of society to the particular case. The team that would provide overall care in this would involve Physical practitioner, Nurse practitioner, Technical person, psychiatrist or social counselor and as a major force the patient’s friends and family. The nurse practitioner in this scenario has a range of activities from attending to physical treatment and providing mental stability.

(Kahn JO, Walker BD. Acute human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. N Engl J Med. 1998; 339:33-39.)

Pathophysiology and Sympathology:

  • HIV, a retrovirus primarily infects CD4+ lymphocytes and macrophages by attaching to the host cell by the association of a surface glycoprotein to the CD4 molecule. Thus on the entrance, the virus core enters the cell cytoplasm of the host and copies viral RNA to the DNA of the host by using viral reverse transcriptase.Managing a Human Immunodeficiency Virus