Human immunodeficiency virus: What primary care clinicians know

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HIV/AIDS remains a pandemic that disproportionately harms the well-being of young people around the world. Despite several health promotion measures to prevent new infections, the approaches have proven ineffectual in light of the rising frequency of new infections among adolescents and adults aged 15 to 24. This research investigates health promotion interventions to prevent new HIV and Aids infections and suggests techniques adapted to the needs of the young population.

Teenagers are at a pivotal stage in their lives when they undergo significant changes that make them more vulnerable to dangerous sexual conduct. Adolescents and young adults are in the process of figuring out their lives and are prone to taking chances. Currently, the number of HIV infections is all time high with 2014 statistics recording 3.9 million among adolescents and adults of age 15 to 24(Idele et al., 2014). The study further reveals that the number of new HIV and AIDS infection to about 620,000 with the number of new HIV infections expected to grow to 740,000 by 2030. In light of this developments health practitioners and researchers agree that there is need to accelerate Health promotion strategies among adolescents and young adults(Pettifor et al., 2013).

Stakeholders now perceive health promotion as top priority given the high rate of new infections among adolescents of age 15 to 24 years old. Current medical advances have proven ineffective as they are yet to change the stark reality for young people. Besides previous approaches did not take into consideration the numerous and intersecting systems of discrimination increasing young people vulnerability to HIV(McBride & Bell, 2011). The new plan for health promotion will significantly change the narrative for adolescents and young adults by reducing the number of incidents of HIV and AIDS.

A large number of studies have suggested ways to prevent and reduce the number of infections among adolescents. Health care practitioners play a significant role in health promotion process this is according to a study by Santos of HIV promotion and prevention by the nursing team in primary care for adolescents (Santos et al.). Santos explores the role of health teams in managing current cases of HIV/AIDS among adolescents as well as in developing strategies for new cases of HIV/AIDS(Santos et al.). Burgess and Kasten consequently agree that nursing duty goes over and above as they engage in the follow-up on existing cases providing lasting behavior change(Burgess & Kasten, 2013).

Young people are often preoccupied with avoiding unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease. This idea has been the core tenet informing most prevention strategies in a majority of studies. Norton findings, however, notes that when introduced to pregnancy or STI strategies participants increased use of condom and exhibited less risky sexual behavior than those presented with the HIV intervention. Norton and other researchers study show that sexual risk-reduction interventions provide more behavior change among young adults than specific(Norton, Fisher, Amico, Dovidio, & Johnson, 2012).

Young people are a heterogeneous group experiencing different problems with others being more vulnerable to infections than others. An investigation by Patel reveals that gay Latinos, transgender and black adolescent and young adult account for the majority of HIV infections among young population of age 13-29 years. Patel identifies the high rate of social media and internet use among teenagers as linked to HIV risk behaviors(Patel, Masyukova, Sutton, & Horvath, 2016). In light of this Patel suggest that interventions should utilize social media and internet for those most vulnerable to HIV particularly the racially and ethnically different urban gay and transgender persons(Patel et al., 2016). Social media interventions can be effective as it integrates risk reduction modules addressing exchange partners and encourage HIV/STI testing on a regular.

The different articles offer a deeper understanding of the critical interventions that can meet the needs of the young population. Health promotion strategies should, therefore, pay attention to the role of nurses in promoting healthy sexual behaviors. Additionally, when establishing interventions stakeholders should consider which intervention foci results in the highest amount of sexual risk-reduction behavior change. The articles also emphasize the need to consider different groups particularly the most vulnerable ones such as gay, transgender, and black or Latino young adults. Equally important is recognizing the key role of technology interventions given the wide usage of social media and internet among this population.

Young people have different needs hence behavior change programs developed should be from the beginning age appropriate. Moreover, young people are more responsive if the delivery and developments of intervention engage them. Peer education can promote sustainable behavior change and in sharing HIV knowledge as they feel part of the process of bringing change. Schools are an essential avenue where information about HIV can be relayed particularly because the majority of young people are school going. Furthermore, schools provide a better platform to afford detailed and factual information on HIV and AIDS. Health promotion strategies should encourage inclusivity by promoting interventions that address needs of vulnerable groups such as the LGBT community(Kasedde, Luo, McClure, & Chandan, 2013)

Adolescents and young adults are a high-risk population with regards to HIV and AIDS infection. Interventions should consider the different experiences and needs that make young people at risk population for new HIV infection. Health promotion can be only effective if they are youth-friendly by using ideal platforms such as social media and engages youths and schools in education.


Burgess, M. J., & Kasten, M. J. (2013). Human immunodeficiency virus: What primary care clinicians need to know. Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Idele, P., Gillespie, a, Porth, T., Suzuki, C., Mahy, M., Kasedde, S., & Luo, C. (2014). Epidemiology of HIV and AIDS among adolescents: Current status, inequities, and data gaps. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 66(SUPPL. 2), S144-S153.

Kasedde, S., Luo, C., McClure, C., & Chandan, U. (2013). Reducing HIV and AIDS in adolescents: Opportunities and challenges. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 10(2), 159-168.

McBride, D. F., & Bell, C. C. (2011). Human immunodeficiency virus prevention with youth. The Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 34(1), 217-29.

Norton, W. E., Fisher, J. D., Amico, K. R., Dovidio, J. F., & Johnson, B. T. (2012). Relative efficacy of a pregnancy, sexually transmitted infection, or human immunodeficiency virus prevention-focused intervention on changing sexual risk behavior among young adults. Journal of American College Health, 60(8), 574-582.

Patel, V. V., Masyukova, M., Sutton, D., & Horvath, K. J. (2016). Social Media Use and HIV-Related Risk Behaviors in Young Black and Latino Gay and Bi Men and Transgender Individuals in New York City: Implications for Online Interventions. Journal of Urban Health, 93(2), 388-399.

Pettifor, A., Bekker, L.-G., Hosek, S., DiClemente, R., Rosenberg, M., Bull, S. S., … HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) Adolescent Scientific Committee. (2013). Preventing HIV among young people: research priorities for the future. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (1999), 63 Suppl 2(0 2), S155-60.

Santos, S. C., Almeida, D. B., Oliveira, W. A. S., Alexandre, A. C. S., Lyra, F. M. P., & Barbosa, V. F. B. (2017). The prevention of the human immunodeficiency virus by the primary attention team for the teenagers. Journal of Nursing UFPE on line, 11(8), 3050-3056.

June 06, 2023




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Hiv Aids Infectious Disease

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