Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an immune dysfunction. It stems from a viral infection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that infects the cells to a specific level and is the response of the infected lymphocytes (Randall, 2018). AIDS is the late stage of HIV. HIV has 3 stages; the first stage can be no symptoms or flu like symptoms (Randall, 2018). It then can progress to stage 2 as the cells continue to proliferate in the body and symptoms may not present at this time however once it transitions into stage 3 the immune system is compromised; at this point it is considered AIDS because the CD4 cell count is below 200. It is important for individuals to be tested for HIV so that appropriate medication can be prescribed to prevent the deterioration to AIDS.
Symptoms cannot be present or life altering in HIV which can lead to AIDS therefore being tested and knowing how HIV can spread through different body fluids to ensure safety of oneself and others. This can cause complications because every individual needs to be responsible in getting tested for HIV/AIDS, ensuring that they practice safe sex and know the HIV status of their significant other and mother’s must be careful during pregnancy and breastfeeding. HIV/AIDS requires much education and nurses play a vital role in assisting with ensuring normal daily living and relationships for those diagnosed. It is important that education on medication, continued care and support services are offered so that it does not progress into AIDS which can be a life threatening diagnosis.
At one of my jobs, I took care of many patients diagnosed with HIV (my facility had a HIV care site to assist those in the community). They are very aware and routine with taking their medications and know how dangerous it can be for them if their levels drop lower. In my experience, they are very educated on their conditions, their safe practices and medication needs.