Immune Disorders in Pediatrics and Geriatrics Pathophysiology of HIV


Write a 3 page paper that addresses the following:

Explain the pathophysiology of the disorder you selected: HIV. Then, compare pathophysiological changes in pediatric and geriatric patients.

Describe the types of drugs that are used to treat symptoms associated with the disorder you selected. Explain how these drugs might impact various body systems in pediatric and geriatric patients, as well as measures you might take to help reduce any negative effects.

Explain how you might educate a pediatric patient on the disorder you selected and how you might educate a geriatric patient on the same disorder. Include your rationale for each approach, as well as how you would promote medication adherence.


Huether, S., McCance, K. (2012). Understanding Pathophysiology (5th Ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby

Poole Arcangelo, V. & Peterson, A.M. (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice: A practical approach (3rd Ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Application: Immune Disorders in Pediatrics and Geriatrics

Pathophysiology of HIV

HIV has three species-defining retroviral genes; env., pol, and gag. HIV-1 and HIV-2 accessory proteins involve in viral replication and disease process. The packaging, dimerization, and gene-transcription processes are linked. CD4 helper T cells decline, which leads to the inversion of normal CD8/CD4 T-cell ratio as well as B-cell antibody production dysregulation. This is followed by a decline in immune responses to particular antigens and the host can no longer react to opportunistic infections adequately (Huether & McCance, 2012). GALT (Gut-associated lymphoid tissue) has a vital obligation in HIV replication. HIV infection has three phases; AIDS, asymptomatic infection, and acute seroconversion. During acute seroconversion, plasma viremia occurs rapidly and there is widespread virus dissemination 4- 11 days following mucosal virus entrance. The infection gets established and there is creation of a proviral reservoir. During the asymptomatic phase, there are no noticeable signs. During the AIDS phase, there is opportunistic infections. Basically, there are no differences in the pathophysiological changes in pediatric and geriatric patients (Huether & McCance, 2012).  

Drugs for Treating Symptoms Associated With HIV

Reyataz drug together with other medications helps in controlling HIV infection. It assists in minimizing the HIV in the body so that the immune system can function in a better manner. As a result, the chances of acquiring HIV complications are lowered and the quality of life improves. Levixa also helps in controlling HIV infection. Other drugs that help in controlling infection include Truvada, Isentress, and Atripla.

Impact of Drugs on Geriatric and Pediatric Patients’ Body Systems

Rarely, Zidovudine and Lamivudine cause fatal or severe liver problems and lactic acidosis. Zidovudine causes muscle problems, which is characterized by muscle weakness and wasting. The drug also decreases bone marrow function, which leads to lower numbers of white and red blood cells. This eventually leads to anemia.

Reducing the Drugs’ Negative Effects

If medications are causing diarrhea, the first step is taking plenty of fluids so as to replace what is already lost. The most important thing to note is that changing the diet can really help. The BRAT (Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast) really helps (Poole Arcangelo & Peterson, 2013).  There is also a need to avoid alcohol, dairy products, processed, starchy, fatty, and spicy foods, and foods that produce gas. Digestive enzymes and calcium supplements also help. In case of headaches, there is a need to take plenty of fluids and eat regularly, massage the skull’s base, and use aspirin. Liver problems can be relieved by avoiding alcohol (Huether & McCance, 2012).  

Educating a Geriatric and Pediatric Patient

When dealing with a geriatric patient, there is need to be more comprehensive in the information offered and this should involve educating them about abstinence and the need to use protection. This cannot only be mentioned briefly to a pediatric patient. With a geriatric, the patient can assist in developing plans for managing side effects and personalized dosing schedules. With a pediatric, colorful pictures can be used when education about nutrition and more importantly, a pediatric patient should be accompanied by an adult.

Promoting Medical Adherence

It is important to commit time with the patient so as to plan as well as support medication adherence (Huether & McCance, 2012).  Regardless of the fact that the frequency and nature of the interventions differ, the most effective ones begin with a preliminary education session, which involves personalized collaborative medication planning and regular follow-up sessions.


Huether, S., & McCance, K. (2012). Understanding Pathophysiology (5th Ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby.

Poole Arcangelo, V., & Peterson, A.M. (2013). Pharmacotherapeutics for Advanced Practice: A practical approach (3rd Ed.). Ambler, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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