Hiv And Treatment Adherence By Bobbi Marie Pollard
3381 Words14 Pages
HIV and Treatment Adherence
Bobbi Marie Pollard
Loyola University Chicago School of Social Work Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a chronic illness, however, for those with access to health care and treatment, it is a very manageable condition. Although it is no longer considered a death sentence in developed countries, it is still a highly stigmatized illness. The public may no longer perceive HIV as the plague it once was, yet there has been no decline in the number of new infections per year in the past decade in the United States (Catalan et al., 2000). Today, people are living longer with HIV due to the development of combination antiretroviral drug therapies (ART). ART has provided significant progress in treatment (Linsk et al., 2002). Treatment accessibility and medication adherence are crucial in order to continue manage the disease on both the individual and public level.
Overview of HIV/AIDS
HIV and AIDS are sometimes used interchangeably, although there is a significant difference, and some HIV positive individuals will never develop Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Testing HIV positive means there are antibodies present in the system. HIV is classified into two phases: symptomatic and asymptomatic. Individuals show signs of a compromised immune system during the symptomatic phase, although with treatment advances, many are living asymptomatically. The progress of the illness can often be evaluated by looking at one’s CD4 and viral load