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Essay on Epidemiology and the Implications

3 pages
774 words
Middlebury College
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Communicable disease is the one that is transmitted from one person to the other through various ways such as airborne, physical contact, fluids or through insects. Among the most common communicable diseases are Hepatitis A, gonorrhea, cholera, HIV, influenza, and malaria. The paper discusses various issues about HIV disease in global perspective.

HIV/AIDS is a communicable disease caused by infection with the HIV. This condition is transmitted through sexual intercourse, blood transfusions or mother to child during pregnancy. A person living with HIV develops several complications such as an attack by opportunistic diseases, tumors, and weakening of immune system. However, the victim may be treated through antiretroviral therapy to reduce the effect of the disease. Globally, the disease affects over 35 million people and has caused over 40 million deaths since being discovered (Maartens, Celum & Lewin, 2014). The disease is reportable and is mostly reported to state health departments worldwide daily to be recorded.

Determinants of health fall into four categories. These are social factors, individual behavior, income and social status, education and literacy, and physical environment. Social factors such as poverty and ignorance cause the spread of HIV because of limited knowledge of the disease. Several individual behaviors such as drug abuse and promiscuity results to increase in HIV infection. Additionally, low income and social status make people engage in prostitution which is a source of HIV infection. Low education and literacy, on the other hand, means that people lack knowledge of how to prevent the spreading of HIV/AIDS. Lastly, physical environment such as lack of access to health care facilities makes the disease to be prevalent (Sharpe et al., 2012).

The spread of HIV/AIDS is caused by three factors that constitute the epidemiologic triangle. These are the hosts, agent, and the environment. The agent (HIV) is capable of being transmitted through any body fluids and can transform quickly into full AIDS. The hosts (humans) become readily susceptible to HIV due to several factors such as lifestyle, poverty, risky behaviors, and other socio-economic status. Environment factors that enhance spread of HIV include sanitation, availability of health care services or climate. People in the society as well as schools are advised to live in clean environments and avoids areas that may likely result to spread of HIV (Baral, Logie, Grosso, Wirtz & Beyrer, 2013). Moreover, they are advised to visit hospitals in case they have been infected with the disease.

The community health nurses are responsible for researching and analyzing cases of HIV in the community and subsequently report them to appropriate bodies. They are also tasked to conduct interview and observation within the society to understand causes, transmission, and number of affected victims in the community. They later offer education and health promotion through community programmes and help from local leaders. Furthermore, the community health nurses are responsible for promoting community medical checkup and doing follow-ups to treated patients (Maartens et al., 2014).

World Health Organizations (WHO) is a global organization that addresses the HIV/AIDS pandemic. WHO has in recent years developed mechanisms such as the new Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV for 2016-2021 aimed at controlling the spread of HIV worldwide (World Health Organization, 2016). WHO encourages countries to teach the population about causes and symptoms of HIV and how they can prevent its transmission. Additionally, they fund health care facilities globally to enhance the availability of retroviral drugs and supply of condoms globally. Likewise, the organization continuously carry out research and innovations for best methods of treatment to control the disease (World Health Organization, 2016).

Globally, HIV is one of the leading causes of deaths especially in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, And Latin America (Maartens et al., 2014). This disease has negative impacts on the population structure, social capital, and economic growth of many states worldwide. Several countries use a large number of resources to control this pandemic hence resulting to slow economic growth. Developed countries have developed programmes that help in facilitating access to condoms, affordable treatment, sexual education, and HIV testing and counseling (Maartens et al., 2014).


Baral, S., Logie, C. H., Grosso, A., Wirtz, A. L., & Beyrer, C. (2013). Modified social ecological model: a tool to guide the assessment of the risks and risk contexts of HIV epidemics. BMC public health, 13(1), 482.

Maartens, G., Celum, C., & Lewin, S. R. (2014). HIV infection: epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention. The Lancet, 384(9939), 258-271.

Sharpe, T. T., Voute, C., Rose, M. A., Cleveland, J., Dean, H. D., & Fenton, K. (2012). Social determinants of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases among black women: implications for health equity. Journal of Women's Health, 21(3), 249-254.

World Health Organization. (2016). Global health sector strategy on HIV 2016-2021. Towards ending AIDS, 7-60.

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