Heather posted -
HIV is a virus and acts like other viruses, such as the flu. Once you are infected with a virus it uses the cells of your body to multiply by taking over the cell to make more copies of the virus-cell. This is how the virus spreads. (Ignatavicius, Workman, Rebar, & Heimgartner, 2021) Left untreated with medications (antivirals), it will eventually weaken your immune system. That is how it eventually turns into AIDS. However, it is impossible to contract AIDS without first having HIV.
Once you are infected with the virus there is no cure, it is a life-long condition, and the virus is still able to be transferred to someone else. Precautions will need to be taken to prevent spreading to someone else. The virus can be spread through body fluids such as blood, semen, preseminal, vaginal, rectal fluids, and breast milk. Usually, there are transferred person to person through mucous membranes, cuts, lesions, or injections such as sharing needles. (National Library of Medicine, 2022) This means you can still have contact with others who are not infected. You cannot spread the virus with hugging, touching, activities, sports, and other daily acts of living.
Antibiotics do not work on viruses; they are used for bacterial infections. Being HIV/ AIDS is a virus, you will need to take antiviral medications. Treatment for the virus should begin as soon as the virus is detected. Taking the medication on time and as prescribed is vital to slowing the progression of the disease. The first symptoms are much like flu symptoms. If left untreated they can progress to more serious complications such as cancer, to other infections both viral and bacterial. If continued to be untreated HIV will then turn to AIDS and as your immune system continues to decline the opportunistic infections can be very serious and even life-threatening.
Care of a patient with HIV
Kathy Michaels, a 37-year-old female, is talking with her gynecologist about concerns of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). She asks to be tested for STDs. Later, the nurse calls to discuss the results with Ms. Michaels, which indicates she is positive for HIV. Ms. Michaels states, "Oh no, I have AIDS!"
1. How should the nurse respond to Ms. Michaels’ statement?
"Ms. Michaels seems relieved with the explanation and states "I am so glad it’s not AIDS. It’s just like an infection." She then asks the nurse, "Can I take some antibiotics to kill the infection, then?
2. How should the nurse respond to Ms. Michaels’ question?
Again, Ms. Michaels indicates an understanding of the nurse’s explanation. She then asks "Does this virus just remain the same in my body and nothing will happen, or will I be getting sick?"
3. How should the nurse respond to Ms. Michaels’ question?