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HIV/AIDS and the Role of Occupational Therapy

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What Is HIV?

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is an infection that causes tissues in the area that help it fight off infection, making individuals more susceptible to other diseases and illnesses. Interaction with certain bodily fluids of an HIV-positive individual, most commonly during unprotected intercourse (sex without the use of a condom or HIV treatment to prevent or treat HIV), or exchanging injection drug equipment spreads the virus.

HIV can lead to AIDS if this is not cured (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

The human species never remove HIV, and that there is no viable HIV treatment. As a result, if you have HIV, you will have it for the rest of your life.

People with HIV, on the other hand, can live long and healthy lives while preventing HIV transmission to their sexual partners by taking HIV medicine (also known as antiretroviral therapy or ART). There are also successful techniques for preventing HIV infection from sex or drug use, such as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) (PEP).

HIV is the source of one of humankind’s worst and longest-running diseases, having been discovered in 1981.

What Is AIDS?

AIDS is a late stage of HIV infection in which the body’s natural immune system is compromised harmed by the virus.

Most patients with HIV in the United States do not develop AIDS because they take their HIV medication on a daily basis as directed.

When the amount of CD4 cells in a person’s blood drops below 200 cells per cubic millimetre of blood (200 cells/mm3), they are deemed to have progressed to AIDS. (CD4 levels range from 500 to 1,600 cells/mm3 in people with a healthy immune system.) OR, irrespective of their CD4 count, they get one or more opportunistic infections.

If people with These conditions do not undertake HIV treatment, they have such a three-year chance of survival. Without treatment, a person’s life expectancy drops to around a year after contracting a serious opportunistic illness. At about this stage of HIV infection, HIV treatment can still aid people, but it also can save their lives. People who begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) as soon as they are diagnosed with HIV benefit more, which is why HIV testing is so crucial.

HIV/AIDS is turning into a chronic illness with accompanying impairment when treatment options targeted at trying to prolong the lifestyle of individuals with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syn-drome (AIDS) are deployed. People who live with HIV/AIDS can have a variety of workplace quality issues, and occupational therapy practitioners must assess and improve their part in assisting this community to achieve their requirements. Acute-care professionals who work with HIV/AIDS patients who have been admitted several times and have variable levels of professional functioning.

HIV affects people of all genders, ages, races, and sexual orientations. Being HIV + has a wide range of consequences. Not only does he have to deal with the understanding that he or she is facing a slow and painful death, but he also has to deal with an enormous psychological burden as a result of the various societal and moral constraints. A caring relationship’s stable support might be shattered. The fact that one is HIV positive may have financial ramifications. All of these concerns could have a significant negative impact on one’s quality of life (QOL). According to the World Health Organization, quality of life is a comprehensive notion that encompasses an individual’s physical health, psychological condition, amount of independence, social interactions, personal views, and relationship to the salient characteristics of the environment in a complicated way.

In this group, physical symptoms, antiretroviral treatment, psychosocial health, social support systems, coping techniques, spiritual well-being, and mental co-morbidities are all key determinants of QOL. As a result, the influence of HIV infection on various aspects of QOL, including physical and mental well-being, social support systems, and life roles, has emerged as a major concern for HIV-positive people. Christine et al conducted a survey to learn more about the experiences of women living with HIV/AIDS. They discovered that four themes were most important to the clients: fear of disclosure, abilities to perform (physical and psychological), having which through, and coping favourably with being HIV positive (spirituality and chance for living and learning). HIV-positive women are four times more likely to be depressive than HIV-negative women.

Occupational therapists must analyse and develop their involvement with hospital-based and community-based clients since the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) have a substantial impact on occupational performance (Pizzi, 1989, 1990b). The relevance of meeting the demands of this client demographic is growing as new medical therapies for people living with HIV/AIDS, such as new pharmacological regimens, are predicted to contribute to longer survival times (Graham, 1997).

As a result, HIV infection is increasingly being seen as a chronic illness with long-term consequences (O’Connell and Levinson, 1991; O’Dell, 1993). Acute-care occupational therapy practitioners like to work with clients who have several hospitalizations and arrive with variable levels of occupational ability because HIV/AIDS patients generally have a random development of the disease (Levinson and O’Connell, 1991). Check out the best occupational health and safety software.

Standard of living is a measurement about how well people are able to function rather than how sick they are. It serves as a reference for acceptable management tactics as well as one of the result measurements used to compare them. Mental and sociological aspects play a significant role in HIV positive people’s quality of life. It has been shown that a common person’s understanding of HIV is insufficient to eradicate the fear and stigma associated with the disease.

According to the findings of several studies, there was only a marginal increase in the “social relationship” area of QOL when compared to the “physical” and “psychological” domains. This could be due to the fact that our intervention did not include teaching and counselling the client’s family, close relatives, and acquaintances. Only the client received psychological counselling and education as part of his therapy.

It might have made a perceived difference for them, as understanding removes the fear of the unknown. The patient’s perspective and comprehension of the condition also have a significant impact on his ability to adapt and modify.

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