Saturday, September 17, 2011

ME? Published?

This photo of mine up above might be published in a Portland Guide! I'm so excited! So excited that I'll share a paper I just wrote about HIV/AIDS! Whoo..

HIV/AIDS: Pathophysiology,
Clinical Manifestations, Nursing Interventions, and
Implications for Nursing Practice
Meredith L. Hunt

This paper explores the how’s and why’s of human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) from research conducted through the textbook written by Huether and McCance. The symptoms and clinical manifestations of HIV/AIDS are discussed along with the treatments that should be administered for the infected individual. This paper incorporates the importance of a nurse and what the job and responsibility of a nurse might be in the time of treating an individual with an immunity deficiency. The paper ends with not only different treatments of HIV/AIDS a nurse could administer to the patient, but also the preventative care that could be given to individuals that do not have the disease.

HIV/AIDS: Pathophysiology, Clinical Manifestations, Nursing Interventions, and Implications for Nursing Practice
         Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that occurs after the immune system is suppressed by HIV, or human immune deficiency (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). The human immune deficiency virus gets a hold of the helper T cells. This disrupts the growth and development of both the cytotoxic T cells and the plasma cells. Since HIV is suppressing the human's immunal defenses against itself, ultimately pathogens and opportunistic mircoorganisms are left to develop AIDS. HIV is a member of a family of viruses, which carry genetic information in the form of RNA instead of DNA (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). What happens to the genetic material from a retrovirus is that a RNA strand is converted into a DNA strand and put into the infected cell’s genetic material to remain dormant until the cell is activated (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). There is a possibility that the cell could remain dormant for years and that the HIV particles will not shed from the infected cell for the amount of time the cell remains dormant. When the cell is activated, then new virions form, the cell dies, and dead cell then sheds the HIV particles. The most common surface receptor on HIV is the envelope protein gp120, this envelope protein binds to the molecule CD4 on the surface of helper T cells (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). The decrease in CD4+ cells causes a decrease in response to a wide array of infectious pathogens and malignant tumors (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008).
         The clinical manifestations of HIV can be unclear. The HIV infected person could have antibodies present for fighting off the HIV, or the infected person could also not have antibodies present. The infected person could be asymptomatic in early stages of HIV (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). A person’s infected cells could be dormant for over a year without showing any symptoms of infection from sexual transmission infection, however, the virus may be still be growing. The actions of antibodies are different from an infection through blood products versus an infection through sexual transmission. The current accepted definition of AIDS relies on both laboratory tests and clinical symptoms (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). The early stages of HIV disease the symptoms are mild, for example: night sweats, swollen lymph glands, diarrhea, and/or fatigue (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). If antibodies are present in the laboratory results, the clinical symptoms and lab results are both used to diagnose the individual with AIDS. The acknowledgment of a decrease in CD4+ T cells numbers is a big indicator of a case of AIDS (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008).
         The treatment for HIV infection is a combination of drugs, called highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). This drug has inhibitors of reverse transcriptase and of the viral protease (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). HAART has been effective saving many lives from AIDS-related diseases (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). Also, along with HAART being an effective drug against HIV, vaccine development is good to prevent initial infection. While caring for patients with immune deficiencies, ordinary ways of immunization may not be the best way help the individual. The evaluation of an individual having reoccurring and uncontrolled infections generally means the diagnosis of HIV. Important information on the specific immune deficiency can be gathered by taking note of certain characteristics of the individual, including the presence of any associated anomalies, age, gender, the types of infections (bacterial, viral, or fungal, and the specific microorganisms involved), family history, and risk factors associated with secondary immune deficiencies (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008). The different tests available to evaluate specific immune deficiencies can test the complete blood count or test for the antibody production. Perhaps all that is needed for the immune system to begin functioning fully again is a replacement of whatever component is missing. For example, B cell deficiencies call for an administration of gamma globulins, or another example, a replacement of stem cells can treat lymphoid cell development deficiencies (Heuther, S., E., & McCance, K., L., 2008).
         Seeing all the choices of treatment for HIV/AIDS and immunity deficiencies, nurses have from a variety to choose which treatment would be the most effective for the infected individual. Whether it is drug like HAART, or it is a replacement therapy like administrating gamma globulins, nurses are able to treat their patients with effective treatment that have a great chance of overcoming this detrimental disease of immunity deficiency. Perhaps a great preventative treatment would be educating people who do not yet have the immunity deficiency disease. To educate people about safe sex, about sanitation, and about the risks of what could happen to them if they were to get HIV would be beneficial for an unaware individual. Many of the higher risks of HIV transmission are associated with sexual practices with no condom usage, so another common practice for nurses along with safe sex education would be to encourage sexually active people to use condoms while having sex.

Huether, S.E., Mccane, K.I. (2008). Understanding Pathophysiology (4th edition, pp. 198-205). St Louis, MI: Mosby Inc.