Epidemiology

IN WRITING THIS PAPER, APPLY THE CONCEPT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY AND NURSING
RESEARCH TO A COMMUNICABLE DISEASE.
Choose one communicable disease
From the following list:

  1. Chickenpox
  2. Tuberculosis
  3. Influenza
  4. Mononucleosis
  5. Hepatitis B
  6. HIV
    Epidemiology Paper Requirements
    Include the following in your assignment:
  7. Description of the communicable disease (causes, symptoms, mode of transmission,
    complications, treatment) and the demographic of interest (mortality, morbidity, incidence, and
    prevalence).
  8. Describe the determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the
    development of this disease.
  9. Discuss the epidemiologic triangle as it relates to the communicable disease you have selected.
    Include the host factors, agent factors (presence or absence), and environmental factors. (The
    textbook describes each element of the epidemiologic triangle).
  10. Explain the role of the community health nurse (case finding, reporting, data collecting, data
    analysis, and follow-up).
  11. Identify at least one national agency or organization that addresses the communicable disease
    chosen and describe how the organization(s) contributes to resolving or reducing the impact of
    disease.
    A minimum of three references is required.
    Refer to “Communicable Disease Chain.”
    Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in
    the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

EPIDEMIOLOGY 2

Epidemiology paper

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome was first known in North America in the 1980s.
The disease is a killer and is caused by a virus called HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).
HIV is common to some groups of people, for example those who abuse the illicit drugs, the
bisexual and the gay men. Infection of HIV has become a worldwide epidemic and is increasing
among the women, the aboriginal people, Caribbean communities and the Africans. The cure for
the disease has not yet been found and some cultures argue that it is a curse as predicted in the
holy bible that during the end times, there will emerge incurable diseases.
HIV virus is found in body fluids like semen, blood, breast milk and vaginal fluids of
those infected. The virus is also found in tears, saliva and sweat though not in large amounts to
transfer to another person. There has not been a heard case of the disease being caused sneezing,
mosquito bites, and toilet seats or from shaking hands (Anthony & Bell, 2008). The most
common ways of HIV infection is through sharing needles or sharp objects with an infected
person or having unprotected sex with infected person. The infection of the disease from mother
to child during birth and through breast feeding is also becoming common. Symptoms of HIV
normally appear after 2 to 12 weeks of exposure. This is when the virus has overtaken the
immune cells of the body. The symptoms include: diarrhea, general body weakness, fever,
headache, pain in the joints, swollen glands, loss of weight, rashes and night sweats. The
symptoms may go away time after time. When these symptoms appear the HIV is normally said
to have reached at a very infectious point (Walters, 1988). Advanced HIV disease is termed as
aids. The cure to HIV has not yet been found. One can however take drugs to help them live
longer. Prevention of HIV infection is however the best cure. The disease has been spreading at

EPIDEMIOLOGY 3
high rate and killing a lot of people until the campaigns on hi awareness have been brought up.
The death rate has been reduced by the use of ARVs (Grosskurth et al., 2000).
The possible complications related to HIV are Cancers, Chronic wasting (weight loss)
from HIV infection, HIV dementia, HIV lipodystrophy, Opportunistic infections, Bacillary
angiomatosis, Candidiasis, Cytomegalovirus infection, Cryptococcal infection, Cryptosporidium
enterocolitis (or other protozoal infections), Mycobacterium avium complex (MAC) infection,
Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (previously called Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia or
PCP),Salmonella infection in the bloodstream, Toxoplasmosis, Tuberculosis (in the lungs or
spread throughout the body) and Viral infection of the brain (progressive multifocal
leukoencephalopathy)
Personal, social, economic and environmental factors which influence the health status
are the heath determinants. Policy making is where the state, local or federal government make
policies that affects an individual and the population health (Wilkinson & Marmot, 2003).
Policies on the control for the spreading of HIV can be made. The use of illicit drugs where the
drug abusers use same needles to inject themselves can be banned. Laws against the use of these
drugs can be put across to discourage the abusing of these illicit drugs. If homosexuality was
banned, the infection of this disease can be reduced among men. There are also social
determinants of health which include the physical conditions and social factors in where people
are born and brought up. Some people especially girls engage in premature and unprotected sex
so as to earn themselves a daily bread. If the girls were brought up in places where resources to
meet their daily needs such as education are available, the y would be independent and would not
engage in in the premature sex in search of basic needs. Quality health services can have an
impact on health and the HIV victims (Marmot & Wilkinson, 2005). Health centers with
cancelling departments can help the HIV victims live longer through advising them the food to

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eat and advising the relatives to show love and care to the infected. The behavior of an individual
can determine his health. If an HIV victim feeds on balanced diet, they will be adding their
length of living. Abusing drugs may deteriorate their health so it is important for them stop their
health. Biology and genetics may influence the health of people. However it does not have much
effect HIV infection.
HIV is caused by a virus known as human immunodeficiency syndrome. This virus
infects the cells making them weak and takes over in reproducing. The vital cells such as helper t
cells, dendritic cells and macrophages are destroyed by HIV (Merrill, 2013). It leads to low
levels of CD4+ T cells. The HIV virus is different in structure from other retroviruses. The virus
is roughly spherical in shape. The host for HIV is the cell. It is a retrovirus which has enzyme
reverse transcriptase which it uses to copy RNA to DNA and uses the copy of the DNA to infect
the cells. When HIV virus infects a cell, it attaches itself and fuses itself with the host cell. The
RNA is then converted to DNA where the virus use the machinery of the host cell to replicate
itself in a process called reverse transcription. The newly made copies of HIV leave the host cells
and start infecting other cells (Merrill, 2013). HIV is inseparable with poverty. An environment
with poor people is prone to HIV than that with rich people. The people who live in poor
environment are at a high risk of dying than those living in rich environment. The rich people
can afford to buy protection to protect themselves against HIV while the poor may not afford.
The rich can be able to afford healthy foods which will help them live longer with the human
immunodeficiency virus. The poor on the other side may not afford the recommended foods
hence may end up dying faster (Merrill, 2013).
The health nurses have the role of restoration of health, promotion, prevention of illness
and alleviation of the suffering. The nurses are expected to be compassionate, respectful and
understand the uniqueness of the infected people. They are supposed to identify the infected

EPIDEMIOLOGY 5
people in the community (World Health Organization, 2001). They can accomplish this by
making the community people understand the need for knowing their status and this will help
them live positively. The people should be encouraged to have the test for HIV. They are
supposed to collect data and analyze it to know the most affected people. In those areas they can
insist on the campaigns against HIV. They may try to find reasons for the increased number of
the infected people in that area. Those found infected should be advised on how to live and
discouraged to infect other people with this deadly disease. They have a role of educating the
members to love and care for the infected (World Health Organization, 2001). .
A United Nations population fund is an organization found in Nigeria. Nigeria is a
country which has an HIV prevalence of 4.6 percent. The organization wants to achieve in youth
and ASRH and HIV prevention. They also aim at condo programming with RHCS, HIV and sex
work, PMTCT prongs and SRH-HIV integration. This organization is working hard to create
HIV free generation and the main target being the young people (World Health Organization,
2001). They want them educated on HIV and provided for services to help them engage in
responsible sexual behavior, i.e. abstinence, how to use condoms correctly and being faithful.
They do this by strengthening partnerships and institutions AND strengthening behavior change
through communication. This organization is promoting the sale of male and female condoms for
the prevention of HIV, STDs and unwanted pregnancy. Their initiatives are global programming
to enhance RHCS, global female condom initiative, and thematic trust fund to close the public
sector condom gap in SSA countries. UNFPA’s HIV/AIDS strategy is also focusing on issues
related to women. They are advocating for fulfillment of human rights, reducing vulnerability
and impact mitigation. They also advocate for elimination of gender inequality and empowering
the women. UNFPA is working hand in hand with federal and states ministries of health, who,

EPIDEMIOLOGY 6
SFH and Planned Parenthood federation to support their operation (World Health Organization,
2001).
HIV/ AIDS has remained a disaster affecting people worldwide. Some people do not
believe it is actually a disease. With the upcoming organizations which campaigns against HIV,
the spread is reduced and the victims are advised on how to live longer with the disease.

EPIDEMIOLOGY 7

References

Anthony, I. C., & Bell, P. J. (2008). The neuropathology of HIV/AIDS. International Review of
Psychiatry, 20(1), 15-24.
Grosskurth, H., Gray, R., Hayes, R., Mabey, D., & Wawer, M. (2000). Control of sexually
transmitted diseases for HIV-1 prevention: understanding the implications of the Mwanza
and Rakai trials. The Lancet, 355(9219), 1981-1987.
Marmot, M., & Wilkinson, R. (Eds.). (2005). Social determinants of health. Oxford University
Press.
Merrill, R. M. (2013). Introduction to epidemiology. Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Walters, L. (1988). Ethical issues in the prevention and treatment of HIV infection and AIDS.
Science, 239(4840), 597-603.
Wilkinson, R. G., & Marmot, M. G. (Eds.). (2003). Social determinants of health: the solid facts.
World Health Organization.
World Health Organization. (2001). New data on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission
of HIV and their policy implications: conclusions and recommendations: WHO Technical
consultation on behalf of the UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team
on Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, Geneva, 11-13 October 2000.

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