Drug Treatments for HIV/AIDS

While HIV/AIDS is still currently incurable, the prognosis for patients with this infectious disease has improved due to advancements in drug treatments. Consider the case of Kristy Aney. Kristy was diagnosed with HIV in 1992 and was told she would survive, at most, 10 more years. Despite unfavorable odds, Kristy is still alive 20 years later. Since her diagnosis, she has witnessed tremendous improvements in HIV/AIDS treatments which have helped patients live longer with fewer side effects. While she acknowledges that these drug treatments have kept her alive, she fears that improvements in drug therapy have led to more people becoming complacent about the disease (Idaho Statesmen, 2012). In fact, the number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States is higher than it has ever been (CDC, 2012). This poses the question: Is there a relationship between drug advancements, societal complacency, and infection? To prepare: Review Chapter 49 of the Arcangelo and Peterson text, as well as the Krummenacher et al. and Scourfield articles in the Learning Resources. Reflect on whether or not the prevalence of HIV cases might be attributed to increased complacency due to more advanced drug treatment options for HIV/AIDS. Consider how health care professionals can help to change perceptions and make people more aware of the realities of the disease. Think about strategies to educate HIV positive patients on medication adherence, as well as safe practices to reduce the risk of infecting others.