Epidemiology and Public Health

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Epidemiology is the study of infections, how they affect people, how to avoid them, and why they became infected. HIV/AIDS is the achievement in epidemiology that interests me the most. Millions of people have died as a result of this disease around the world. Even though some countries have significantly reduced the epidemiology level, many countries continue to report large numbers of infected individuals.
Describe that achievement in epidemiology in a few words.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) attacks the immune system, which protects us from the disease. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is the most advanced stage of HIV and takes almost ten years of infection for it to develop. The highest number of infected people live in low- and middle-income states (sub-Saharan Africa and Asian regions).

HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sharing sharp objects with the infected, e.g., needles, having sexual intercourse with the infected, receiving infecting blood through blood transfusion or vaginal secretions into open wound also babies born from mothers infected with HIV/AIDS can get this disease during birth or when breastfeeding.

To prevent this disease one needs to abstain from sex or use protection. Although, this is not hundred percent guaranteed but may be used with PrEP( Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis). People should not share things like razor blades toothbrushes or sharp objects with blood or fluids in them. For those who are already infected, they should eat well, have regular exercises avoid taking drugs like tobacco alcohol or marijuana. Also, they should learn how to manage stress and take medicines which help to lower the progress of HIV/AIDS (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS., & World Health Organization, 2007).

In what era did this achievement occur?

HIV/AIDS is the most destructive disease in humans. According to Bonita (2004), the AIDS epidemic was identified as a distinct disease in 1982 in the United States and by 1992 about ten million people were already infected with HIV. Since then 25 million people have died of AIDS, and a further 40 million have been infected with HIV.

Briefly, describe one important tool that can be used to measure its occurrence in a population.

Surveillance is a tool of the collection of data which shows the extent to which the disease has spread. It also shows the mobility and mortality rate of this illness in a population. Through this system, public health practitioners can describe the disease epidemiology and can quickly come up with ways to prevent HIV. Also, the doctors can predict the extent of illness and therefore will quickly find the means to deal with it in future. This data mainly is got from reports of clinical officers dealing with individuals with HIV/AIDS, outbreak reports, vaccine utilization and from blood banks (McDougal, et al., 2005).

Bonita & Beaglehole (2010) state that surveillance focusing on new incidences of HIV infections is more accurate and timely than using cases of common diseases. It is an essential feature in epidemiology. Surveillance has helped in estimating the magnitude of HIV/AIDS epidemic and has monitored its trends. The analysis from monitoring system shows whether there are increased reported cases of HIV/AIDS and this requires the continuous scrutiny of-of its occurrence.

Identify one specific source of public health data on that issue and write one paragraph about it. Provide a description of the source and a link ( I,e hyperlink or URL) directly to the data source.

State and Local Data Sources

Many states have their personal structures for reporting facts. Usually those structures consist of births, deaths, marriages, and divorces. A middle public health feature is statewide harm facts series and evaluation. This data sources present records for mortality statistics discovered on most country public fitness web sites. Often following facts are available via census tract, community, county and region. For instance, the web page of Arizona Department of Health Services provides a section dedicated to HIV/AIDS, which contains various information for infected patients as well as for those who are interested in the issue. There is information about closest locations to get tested and a veriety of facts focused on HIV prevention. (http://www.azdhs.gov/prevention/tobacco-chronic-disease/hiv-prevention/index.php)

Incorporating what you learned in this module about risk and rates, what would you say was one major factor that influenced the achievement of this occurrence?

Baggaley & Boilly (2010) purport that the major factor which has influenced the occurrence of HIV is unsafe sex. Homosexuality is the principal agent transmission. It is estimated that about 61% of the population is mainly affected. This is half the population who are at greater risk. Several studies have shown that sexual behavior of individuals may expose to the HIV/AIDS infection. In many countries, men and women are more affected by this epidemic because of the increasing number of sex partners. Also, women who are separated, divorced or widowed are more vulnerable to the HIV/AIDS infection ( McNair & Prather, (2004).

The sexually transmitted diseases have also played a major role in enhancing the transmission of HIV. The STD are said to increase the infectiousness of the disease. For instance, diseases like herpes cause genital ulcer disease and therefore, it has played a role in enhancing HIV transmission (Coyle et al, 2003). The rate at which young people being infected with HIV is alarming. This is because of the lack of knowledge about HIV transmission and prevention, which illustrates the necessity of HIV and sexual reproductive health education. Young people having sex with older partners is significant in influencing the spread of HIV ( UNICEF., Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS., & World Health Organization 2002).

In the United States, there are more men infected with HIV than women. Therefore, the possibility of an infected man having sex with a HIV negative woman is high. This is through the discussed acts like oral, penile sex, vaginal sex digital anal or digital vaginal (Kalichman, 2000). A person infected with HIV passes the infection through the following fluids; blood, semen, vaginal fluid or anal mucus ( Piot & Kreiss, 1997).Therefore, the risk of HIV infection is increasing making the rate at which it is spread extremely high, hence prevention of the disease is the only core of reducing cases of HIV/AIDS infection.


Baggaley, R., F., White, R., G., & Boily, M., C. (2010). HIV transmission risk through anal intercourse: systematic review, meta-analysis and implications for HIV prevention. International journal of epidemiology, dyq057.

Bonita, R., Beaglehole, R., & Kjellström, T. (2006). Basic epidemiology. World Health Organization. Retrieved on April 24, 2017, from www.whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2006/9241547073_eng.pdf.

Coyle, P., O'Neill, H., J., Wyatt, D., E., McCaughey, C., Quah, S., & McBride, M., O. (2003). Emergence of herpes simplex type 1 as the main cause of recurrent genital ulcerativedisease in women in Northern Ireland. Journal of Clinical Virology, 27(1), 22-29.

Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS., & World Health Organization. (2007). AIDS epidemic update, December 2006. World Health Organization.

Kalichman, S., C. (2000). HIV transmission risk behaviors of men and women living with HIV‐AIDS: Prevalence, predictors, and emerging clinical interventions. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 7(1), 32-47.

McDougal, J., S., Pilcher, C., D., Parekh, B., S., Gershy-Damet, G., Branson, B., M., Marsh, K., & Wiktor, S., Z. (2005). Surveillance for HIV-1 incidence using tests for recent infection in resource-constrained countries. Aids, 19, S25-S30.

McNair, L., D., & Prather, C., M. (2004). African American women and AIDS: Factors influencing risk and reaction to HIV disease. Journal of Black Psychology, 30(1), 106-123.

Piot, P., Kreiss, J. K., Ndinya-Achola, J., O., Ngugi, E., N., Simonsen, J., N., Cameron, D., W., & Plummer, F., A. (1987). Heterosexual transmission of HIV. Editorial review. Aids,1(4), 199-206.

UNICEF., Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS., & World Health Organization. (2002). Young people and HIV/AIDS: Opportunity in crisis. The Stationery Office.

August 09, 2021

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