Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Description of the communicable disease

Human immunodeficiency virus, commonly referred to as HIV, is an immune deficiency disorder that affects the normal functioning of the immune system. The CD4+ cells act as the mediating cells between immune cells and other immune cells. The peak of HIV is the failure of the mediated system.Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

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Causes: The infectious disease is caused by HIV type 1 and HIV type 2 retroviruses. The two retroviruses affect the immune system infecting the CD4cells.

Symptoms: Human immunodeficiency virus has an impact on all aspects of the human body. The early signs of its infection are headache, nausea, cases of fatigue, and joint weaknesses as well. Other notable manifestations include chills and diarrhea. The secondary symptoms of HIV are wasting and malnutrition coupled with other infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), HIV is referred to as a wasting disease because it makes the client slim.

HIV infection is characterized by different opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis and pneumonia. The tertiary infections are characterized by other factors such as neurological manifestations and other malfunctions.


Mode of transmission: The primary method of transmission of this virus is through sexual contact primarily through sexual secretions. It can also be transmitted through a mother’s breast milk and parental blood.

Complications: Complications that come with HIV weaken the immune system. Some of the difficulties that come with HIV include cases of Neurological complications and other factors such as cancers.Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Treatment: HIV has no form of cure; therefore, any medication that is given to a patient is in a bid to delay the progression of the infection. Treatment for HIV is aimed at reducing and prolonging the survival of patients. HIV treatment can be done through polydrug therapy and antiretroviral therapy: both of them point towards lowering viral load.

Demographic of interest: The continent of Africa has the most prevalent rate of HIV population across the globe as of 2016. This continent is followed by Asia, Latin America, and Europe. In this country, over 50,000 people around the world contract the diseases annually.

Mortality: HIV is the leading cause of death across the globe especially in Africa. Over 1.5 million people died because of HIV, even though it’s a positive change from previous results. According to the global report of 2017, HIV continues to be a menace that is waiting to attack and kill innocent children and mothers.

Morbidity: The population at the highest risk of being affected by the Virus are homosexual men, bisexual men, drug users and infants born to mothers affected with HIV.

Incidence: There has been a steady decrease in the number of HIV infections in recent years at a steady rate of 35 percent. According to Kharsany & Karim (2016), over 2 million diseases were diagnosed. Women are the most affected population especially those at reproductive ages. Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Prevalence: According to Kharsany & Karim (2016), over 18 million people are living with HIV across the globe, this, when broken down, represents young adults, children, and adults. According to Hall et al. (2015) over 2.6 million children are living with HIV globally.

Determinants of Health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017), there are different types of health determinants is genetics, lifestyle and the environment.

Lifestyle is defined as the way that people eat, play, eat and communicate. This means that the family plays a significant role in determining how a person develops their own beliefs and health practices, such as eating healthily and exercising. When a person indulges in rampant sex with multiple partners, their lifestyle choices are playing a huge role in exposing that person to higher risks of being infected with HIV. Other lifestyle choices, such as being bisexual, expose the patient towards contracting HIV as well.

Genetics. HIV is not genetically linked, but diseases that are related to genetics could be affected by both cultural and environmental factors as well. Genetic intervention is, however, used widely to contain HIV.

Environment. Environmental factors such as weather and the climate of the surrounding physical environment affect the infected drug user who risks contracting those diseases.

The sociocultural environment entails the societal values and family that one grew up in . Other socio-cultural factors include social institutions and social roles. People with lower societal class tend to be less informed on the contraction of HIV and other resources, as well. People of high societal classes have access to such resources, and therefore they have greater participation in different activities. Their level also gives them access to better care and quality life.

Social Determinants. Health social determinants entail factors such as economic instability and the context of people and society. Some of the influences that society has on health include improving healthcare, promoting awareness on the need to be tested on clinics, discrimination, and other programs as well. Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Host Factors

o   Demographic characteristics:


  • Youths aged 12-35 are the most affected population in the United States.
  • People aged over 50 tend to have the same risk factor as the youth.
  • Older Americans tend to be more likely to be infected with the virus later on in life.


  • Men are the most infected gender as they account to up to 76% of all people living with the virus
  • According to Kharsany & Karim (2016), approximately  one in four people residing in  America is a woman living with HIV infection

Marital status

  • HIV is more prevalent among men who tend yo have sex with other men.
  • Homosexual and bisexuals are the most affected population within the country.
  • There has been a significant increase in the rate of HIV infections among homosexuals and bisexuals at an increased rate of 20 percent.
  • Young men are the highest population of HIV infections across the globe.


  • Religion comes into play only when it hampers efforts to create awareness among people, especially among native Latin Americans, when it’s a cultural taboo to talk about HIV.


  • Education plays a significant role in enhancing awareness and prevention efforts. According to Hall et al. (2015), a person that has less knowledge tends to have the highest rate of HIV contraction.Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

Economic status

  • High rates of poverty are associated with high rates of HIV infections, STI’s diseases, and stigma.
  • Sex workers stand a high chance of being infected and transmitting the infection due to the nature of their work. It’s also difficult for them to access healthcare services due to their economic status. The low financial condition affects their efforts to seek medical attention.
  • People living within developed countries but in poverty also record high rates of HIV prevalence, just like people in third world countries.

o   Agent Factors.

The primary agent factor for the transmission of the disease is biological. HIV is caused by HIV retroviruses namely HIV type 1 and HIV type 2.

Mode of transmission:  It’s transmitted through sexual contact with semen or vaginal secretions.

Life cycle-The life cycle of HIV involves the RNA virus. According to Hall et al. (2015), the infection begins with its reversal within the cell resulting in viral DNA. The virus then gains access to the CD4cells by allowing their attachment to CD4 receptors.

Virulence -The virulence of virus solely depends on the ability of the host factor to be mediated by cytokines.

o   Environmental Factors

Physical properties: In this country, HIV is more prevalent in urban areas as opposed to rural areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017), most HIV cases are witnessed within metropolitan areas. Sub-Saharan Africa has the most widespread cause of HIV.

o   Biological entities: There is no biological entity in describing the source of HIV, but many believe it came from the contact between a man and a chimpanzee, which had infected the blood.Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

o   Social and economic considerations: Poor education and low financial status expose a person to the risk of contracting the virus.

Explain the role of the community health nurse (case finding, reporting, data collecting, data analysis, and follow-up).

The role of the community health nurse is to assess and carry out evaluations on how nursing care is being provided within the society. Assessments carried out by community health nurses should involve the collection of data, interpretation of the same data and implementation of the recommendations. It is imperative for nurses also to evaluate how the virus is being transmitted within the society as they collect data. Other than that, they should undertake contact tracing with couples affected by the virus. The goal of the community health nurse is to identify new cases and provide care or medical interventions to the patients. It is imperative for the community nurse to be receptive to HIV patients because they tend to experience stigma during the evaluation process.


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.

The World Health Organization is the most recognized agency that has invested in addressing this infectious disease with a worldwide presence in over 190 countries across the globe. The organization is tasked with the responsibility of coordinating and carrying out health projects I partnership with health agencies and programs. It’s also tasked with the role of monitoring and reporting on the infectious diseases in a bid to come up with suitable solutions. The organization has taken personal initiative to educate the masses on the impact and causes of HIV, advocate for prevention measures and lastly, advocate for efforts aimed at high risks as well.Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). HIV and viral hepatitis. South Carolina State Documents Depository.

Hall, H. I., An, Q., Tang, T., Song, R., Chen, M., Green, T., & Kang, J. (2015). Prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infection-United States, 2008–2012. MAR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report64(24), 657.

Kharsany, A. B., & Karim, Q. A. (2016). HIV infection and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa: current status, challenges and opportunities. The open AIDS journal10, 34.Epidemiology Paper on Communicable Diseases

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