A Research Study On Palliative Care

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Previously, HIV was considered a disease associated with young persons. However, in present day, it is recognized as the disease that affects people of all ages. Individual aged 50 and older has many of the same HIV risk factors as a younger individual. There is an increase in the number of patients aged 50 and over who are living with HIV. This increase in the population is due to the increase in life expectancy of people with HIV and new cases in older people. To manage this increasing population a holistic care is needed.
According to World Health Organization (2002) “Palliative care is an approach which improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing life-threatening illness, through the prevention, assessment and
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HIV infection progresses to AIDS when the immune system is badly affected and the individual becomes prone to opportunistic infections. However, everyone who has HIV does not advance to this stage (What Is HIV/AIDS, 2015).
Normally in gerontology research, older adults are defined as an individual over the age of 65, but in HIV research, older adults are defined as being aged 50 and older. The change in definition of older adults is mainly due to the occurrence of premature aging in the individuals with HIV (Deeks & Phillips, 2009). The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has increased life expectancy of the individuals infected by HIV/AIDS. The use of HAART has transferred from the fatal disease category to chronic disease (Huang, 2013). Nowadays individuals with HIV/AIDS who are under treatment are aging.
Providing care to people with HIV has unique challenges. HIV has a unique clinical course as it is infectious and also requires chronic care as the disease advances. Palliative care helps to tackle the problems people with HIV infection face, as palliative care addresses pain and symptom management, emotional, socio-cultural, and spiritual need of the patient and the family members. It also helps to provide nutritional support, financial assistance and manage drug toxicity (Palliative care, 2014). Palliative care focuses on individualized care and the need of the patient family.
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