Drug Treatment 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?

Drug Treatment for HIV/AIDS

When HIV/AIDS was first discovered, many people in the United States were dying
in large numbers. Due to advancements in treatment of the disease in later years, patients
infected with HIV/AIDS can now live longer. Proponents to drug treatment to HIV/AIDS
have pointed out that the impact from drug advancement is phenomenal, as it gives a vision
of having a free HIV/AIDS world. However, some critics point out that these advancements
in treatment lead to complacency. Therefore, the paper will engage in discussing critical
issues emanating from the overall drug treatment to HIV/AIDS.

DRUG TREATMENT FOR HIV/AIDS 2

The increasing number of cases of HIV/AIDS is attributed to the increased
complacency due to more advanced drug treatment options. This is because, health
professionals have quit creating awareness of the possible adverse effects of the disease. The
people of the United States have the illusion that, due to continuous advancement in drug
treatment against HIV/AIDS, they are likely not to contact the disease (Arcangelo &
Peterson, 2013). The advertisements that were used to encourage youths to use contraceptives
such as condoms to save them from the epidemic are no longer used, or are used in minimal
magnitude. Advancement in drug treatment has also led to more emergence of homosexual
and heterosexual relationships that have led people to indulge in sexual activities not
knowing well that they are actually making themselves susceptible to the epidemic.
Health care professionals can diminish the perception and increase awareness of the
realities of the disease by taking a stand in creating awareness on same-sex affairs that greatly
spread HIV/AIDS. This is because, same sex relationships increases transmission of the
sexual-related disorder such as syphilis and gonorrhea, which gives a means for more
transmission of HIV /AIDS. Medical practitioners should increase awareness on drug abuse.
Anyone who abuses drugs should be counseled and treated to help them stop using the drugs
and preventing HIV/AIDS infections (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013). This is because
contracting the disease is faster in people who abuse drugs. Most preferably, health
professionals should formulate programs that give each and every generation of young people
with information and intervention that aid them to develop life-long skills for avoiding
behaviors that could lead to HIV/AIDS infections (Mayer & Krakower, 2012). Strategies to
educate HIV/AIDS patients on medication adherence are crucial as far as drug treatment on
HIV/AIDs is concerned. The strategy includes self-assessment tools that include questions
about mental health status, substance abuse, environmental factors that may influence a

DRUG TREATMENT FOR HIV/AIDS 3

patient’s ability to adhere to ART (Antiretroviral therapy) (Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013).
Another strategy that can be used is assessment on cognitive functioning and a patient’s
attitude towards taking ART. The final strategy that can be used is assessment of all those
areas paints of a patient’s overall readiness to begin and maintain ART.
There are safety practices to reduce the risk of infecting others with HIV/AIDS. One
of the safety practices is use of condoms consistently and correctly. The practice extends to
choosing less risky sexual behaviors. This is because anal sex is the highest-risk sexual
activity more than oral sex. Use of pre-exposure prophylaxis daily can also prevent intensity
of spreading the disease to other people (Krummenacher, Cavassini, Bugnon, & Schneider,
2011). If a partner is infected with the disease, he or she should be advised to get and stay on
treatment. ART is medically recommended to reduce the amount of HIV virus (viral load) in
blood and body fluids, which can greatly reduce chances of transmitting HIV to sex partners
if taken consistently and correctly.
In summary, continuous improvement in drug treatment to HIV/AIDS will continue to
pose dangers of HIV/AIDS to people as neglect and irresponsibility are brought by the
improvements. However, this trend can be reversed if medical practitioners engage in
strategies and programs to create awareness of the adverse effects of the disease, and to
install and educate on best safety measures to prevent widespread of HIV/AIDS.

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