Infectious Disease and Public Health HIV/AIDs

InfectiousDisease and Public Health: HIV/AIDs


Diseasesthat are caused by microorganisms (such as bacteria, parasites, andvirus) are classified as infectious illnesses. HIV is one of the mostpopular types of infectious diseases. It is a viral type ofinfection. It is caused by a type of pathogen known as humanimmunodeficiency virus that is abbreviated as HIV (U.S. Department ofHealth and Human Services, 2016). The disease progresses in differentstages, where the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDs) isconsidered as the last phase that leads to a lifetime consumption ofdrugs or death. This paper will provide a description of the HIV,work done by the government, research, and surveillance reportsissued to indicate trends on HIV infection.

Descriptionof the Disease

Thetype of symptoms that manifest in the HIV infected patients dependson the phase of the illness. The first phase is known as acuteillness, and it is characterized by the occurrence of body rashes,sore throat, fever, and severe headache (HSS, 2016). The second phaseis referred to as the asymptomatic stage. No symptoms are seen inthis phase and it may last for several months or years. Lastly, theadvanced phase is characterized by chronic fatigue, vomiting, rapidloss of weight, red or purplish skin lesions, nausea, persistentdiarrhea, shortness of breath, and swelling of the lymph nodes, amongothers (HSS, 2016). The main methods through which HIV can betransmitted include transfusion with infected blood, sexualintercourse with sick partner, and mother-to-child. It has no cure,but it can be managed through the antiretroviral drugs. HIV wasselected because it infects many people (1.2 million in U.S.) eachyear, in spite of the many campaign programs and a large amount ofresources allocated to prevent new cases (CDC, 2016). Therefore, itis necessary to study the disease in order to identify the researchdone and measure taken by the government to reduce its prevalence.

WorkDone to Mitigate the Impact of HIV/Aids

TheU.S. government has contributed towards the prevention of the HIVprevalence through three key strategies. The first strategy involvesthe provision of funds for research, where the government allocatedabout $ 34.0 billion in 2016 for local as well as the internationalprevention mechanisms (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2016). A largeportion of these funds is channeled to research through thegovernment agencies, such as the Center for Disease Control andPrevention. The second strategy involves the collection anddissemination of information. This strategy is implemented throughagencies (such as that inform the public about the causesand measures that could be used to avoid being infected. Third, thegovernment mitigates the impact of HIV by increasing the patients’access to drugs and housing (HSS, 2016). The work done by thegovernment seeks to empower the HIV victims in order to help themfight with the infection.

Investigations,Surveillance, and Research Studies on HIV

Thegovernment releases surveillance reported on HIV almost every year inorder to update the stakeholders on the failures and achievementsmade in the fight against this deadly illness. For example, thesurveillance report released in 2014 indicated that the rate of newinfections had increased to an average national rate of 13 per100,000 people (CDC, 2014). This investigative report also indicatedthat males were affected disproportionately by new infections, wherethey represented about 81 % of all cases (CDC, 2014). Additionally,the report showed that individuals who engaged in male-to-male sexwere 70 % likely to get infected while heterosexual intercoursesaccounted for 24 % of all infections (CDC, 2014). Researchers havefocused on different topics that relate to the infection. Forexample, a research conducted by Gunthard, Saag &amp Benson (2016)focused on the determination of effective ways through which ARVs canbe used to prevent HIV. The research indicated that theadministration of the HIV should be commenced once the diagnosis hasbeen made, irrespective of the level of CD4 count. Therefore, thereare a lot of surveillance and research works that have been done toprovide up-to-date information about the progress and management aswell as the prevention of infection with HIV.

Emergenceand Re-Emergence

Theemergence of HIV was discovered in the 1980s, when the first case wasdiagnosed. Since then, the disease has been spreading to differentparts of the globe. New cases of the HIV are recorded every year(CDC, 2014). Consequently, there are no incidents of HIV re-emergencesince it has been infecting people continuously.

of the Findings Made by the Government

Mostof the projects sponsored by the government have provided usefulinformation about different aspects of HIV. For example, thegovernment has identified that the rate of new infections has beenincreasing exponentially among the young people aged 25-29 yearswhile reducing in all other age groups (CDC, 2014). In addition, thegovernment agencies have found out that sexual intercourse is stillthe leading method of transmission where it accounts for about 94 %of all cases (CDC, 2014). Studies on racial disparity indicated thatthe rate of infection among the black Americans has decreased whilethat of the Hispanic and the white populations has remained stable(CDC, 2014).

Past,Current, and Ongoing Studies

Mostof the past studies focused on the identification of the mosteffective ARVs that could be used to prolong the life of those whowere infected. The purse of developing the IRVs was to prolong thelife of infected persons as they wait for the discovery of effectivetreatment (Gunthard, Saag &amp Benson, 2016). Current studies focuson the determination of whether the ARV therapy should be initiatedsoon after the diagnosis. Initially, patients were required startsmedication at a CD4 count of the less than 350 cells per cubicmillimeters (WHO, 2013). Later it was recommended that they shouldcommence at a count of about 500 cells per cubic millimeters(Gunthard, Saag &amp Benson, 2016). Current research seeks todetermine whether the medication can be effective if it is startedimmediately. The future research will focus on the identification ofeffective treatment that will lead to complete recovery. Possibleresearch projects will also aim to discover a cost-effective vaccinethat will be accessible to all people in order to prevent infections.


HIVis among the most deadly types of illnesses in the modern world. Thisis attributed to the fact that researchers have not managed toidentify effective treatment and vaccine for this viral infection.Most of the research projects and surveillance reports issued by thegovernment address the cases of new infection and the HIV prevalencein different demographic groups. The exact time when theadministration of ARVs should commence is still controversial, butcurrent studies suggest that it could be more effective when givenimmediately after diagnosis. The government has played a key role infinancing research and collection as well as the dissemination ofinformation. It has also increased the accessibility of treatmentservices to individuals infected with HIV.


CDC(2016). HIV in the United States: At a glance. CDC.Retrieved November 5, 2016, from

CDC(2014). HIV surveillance report, 2014. CDC.Retrieved November 5, 2016, from

Gunthard,F., Saag, S., &amp Benson, A. (2016). Antiretroviral drugs fortreatment and prevention of HIV infection in adults: 2016recommendations of the International Antiviral Society-USA Panel.JAMA,316 (2), 191-210.

TheKaiser Family Foundation (2016). U.S. federal funding for HIV/AIDS:Trends over time. KFFOrganization.Retrieved November 5, 2016, from

U.S.Department of Health and Human Services (2016). Humanimmunodeficiency virus (HIV). HSS.Retrieved November 5, 2016, from

WHO(2013). WHO issues new HIV recommendations calling for earliertreatment? WHO.Retrieved November 5, 2016, from