Healthy People 2030: Health Promotion and Wellness Across the Lifespan
The Healthy People 2030 topic that has been chosen for this paper is the sexually transmitted disease HIV/AIDS. This is a pandemic that has been with us for the past almost forty years. The retrovirus responsible for HIV causes immunosuppression such that any other disease that gets into the patient finds no defences and kills them. It still has no cure or vaccine but there are very effective antiretroviral medications that can control the virus and make the infected person live longer (Hammer & McPhee, 2018). The Healthy People 2030 program aims to sensitize different population demographics to the fact that these infections such as HIV/AIDS can be prevented. Through a number of objectives and themes, it presents strategies for prevention that can be disseminated by way of health education. One of the Healthy People 2030 objectives concerning HIV/AIDS is to “reduce the number of new HIV diagnoses” (ODPHP, n.d-a.). The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Healthy People 2030 topic of HIV/AIDS prevention in the emerging population of minority African Americans in the United States. Health Promotion and Wellness Across the Lifespan Essay
Discussion of an Emerging Population
According to Edelman and Kudzma (2016), the terms emerging population refer to the ethnic and racial minority populations in the United States (US) as well as those persons that are homeless. Examples of these minority communities are African Americans or Blacks, Latinos/ Hispanics, and Arab Americans amongst others. In this paper, the discussion about the Healthy People 2030 topic of HIV/AIDS will be in reference to the emerging population of African Americans. Since these emerging populations are all minority populations demographically, they tend to share certain characteristics. These shared characteristics include but are not limited to similarities in the social determinants of health (SDOH) that determine their health status.
Compared to non-Hispanic White Americans, the populations that are described as “emerging” are not affected negatively by the same social determinants of health. Some of these SDOH include access to quality healthcare services, sanitation and access to clean drinking water, socioeconomic status or household income, and educational achievement (Powell 2016). Over the years, health authorities have come to be more aware of the fact that the health status of these emerging populations is negatively affected by these social determinants of health.
For instance, majority of the persons belonging to these emerging populations are poor with very low family incomes. They also have very low levels of educational achievement and as a result they find it hard to get a well-paying job to earn a decent income. These factors form a vicious cycle and result in them not being able to afford proper housing and sanitation. When sick, because they are of low socioeconomic status they are unable to access the best quality healthcare services. Over time epidemiological data reveals that it is them that are disproportionately affected by conditions that represent health disparities. Health Promotion and Wellness Across the Lifespan Essay
A good example is overweight and obesity that disproportionately affects Black teenagers compared to their White counterparts. Inability to access quality healthcare because of unaffordable health insurance premiums coupled with the high cost of healthcare in the US (Sultz & Kroth, 2018) becomes a problem. It is that the highest number of people with pre-existing conditions such as hypertension and diabetes then happen to be Blacks. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or ACA 2010 (Obamacare) is the only piece of legislation that has so far attempted to address these health disparities in emerging populations; especially access (Kominski et al., 2017). Thanks to it, persons with pre-existing conditions can now be treated by the ACA 2010 cover.
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Explanation of the Topic in Detail
As has already been stated above, the topic for this discussion is HIV/AIDS and the emerging population of interest is the African American or Black community. This topic is particularly important to this emerging population because the negative social determinants of health (SDOH) such as low socio-economic status make them vulnerable. Ignorance because of little educational achievement as well as poverty will make any person from the emerging population engage in risky behavior such as unprotected sex with strangers. This is what causes infection with the HIV virus.
Some of the goals of Healthy People 2030 involving this topic of HIV/AIDS are:
- To reduce the number of new infections in persons 13 years and older.
- To increase the awareness and knowledge about one’s HIV status.
- To increase the rate and effectiveness of strategies to increase viral and load suppression.
- To lower the number of new HIV/ AIDS diagnoses.
- To cut down the number of cases of maternal transmission of HIV to the child during birth, and
- To increase the accessibility and affordability of medical care for HIV/AIDS (ODPHP, n.d-a.; ODPHP, n.d-b.).
Broadly speaking, the main goal is to reduce the spread of the disease among adults and adolescents. In the year 2017, the benchmark or baseline in the country was 13.8 cases per 100,000 people aged 13 years and above. The target for the Healthy People 2030 objectives and goals is to reduce this to 12.4 cases per 100,000 people.
One Concept that HIV/AIDS Falls Under and Two Interrelated Concepts
The one concept that HIV/AIDS falls under is the concept of immunity. The two interrelated concepts are the concept of infection and that of tissue integrity (Giddens, 2021). The reasons as to why I chose these three concepts is because they directly address the problems that infection with HIV/AIDS brings – infection, immunosuppression, and reduced tissue integrity at last. Immunity includes the T-lymphocytes that are white cells protecting the body against disease. These are the cells that the HIV virus attacks and destroys rendering the victim immunosuppressed (Hammer & McPhee, 2018). The concept of infection is self-explanatory in that one has to get infected with the virus to have it. Lastly, when the person develops full blown AIDS they get a myriad of conditions such as tuberculosis and Kaposi’s sarcoma amongst others. The effect of these conditions is that they destroy the integrity of body tissues. Health Promotion and Wellness Across the Lifespan Essay
An Evidence-Based Intervention
One of the evidence-based interventions to help achieve the goals of Healthy People 2030 with regard to HIV/AIDS is the use of long-term antiretroviral therapy or ART (Benítez-Gutiérrez et al., 2018). It has been determined by research that patients that consistently take ARVs in the long term end up having a normal CD4 count and the virus becomes undetectable. This means that they can now not infect another person even if they have unprotected sex. As such, ART is a form of preventive intervention apart from being treatment for the disease. The latest research currently being done is to develop an injectable form of ARVs that can be given as an injection only once per month. This will undoubtedly encourage treatment compliance. This goal could be met if all of the world’s experts in HIV/AIDS came together and shared research findings and knowledge.
The Healthy People 2030 topic of HIV/AIDS is relevant to the emerging population of African Americans. They are particularly vulnerable because they are poor and also have generally low educational achievement when compared to their White counterparts. These SDOH make them practice risky behaviors that expose them to HIV infection. Luckily, an evidence-based intervention in the form of long-term ART is there to help achieve the Healthy People 2030 goal of reducing infections and new cases.
Benítez-Gutiérrez, L., Soriano, V., Requena, S., Arias, A., Barreiro, P., & de Mendoza, C. (2018). Treatment and prevention of HIV infection with long-acting antiretrovirals. Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, 11(5), 507–517. https://doi.org/10.1080/17512433.2018.1453805
Edelman, C.L., & Kudzma, E.C. (2016). Health promotion throughout the lifespan, 9th ed. Elsevier.
Giddens, J.F. (2021). Concepts for nursing practice, 3rd ed. Elsevier.
Kominski, G.F., Nonzee, N.J. & Sorensen, A. (2017). The Affordable Care Act’s impacts on access to insurance and health care for low-income populations. Annual Review of Public Health, 38. http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031816-044555
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP] (n.d-a.). Healthy People 2030: Reduce the number of HIV diagnoses – HIV-03. https://health.gov/healthypeople/objectives-and-data/browse-objectives/sexually-transmitted-infections/reduce-number-new-hiv-diagnoses-hiv-03
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion [ODPHP] (n.d-b.). Healthy People 2030: Reduce the number of HIV diagnoses – HIV-03.
Powell, D.L. (2016). Social determinants of health: Cultural competence is not enough. Creative Nursing, 24(1), 5-10. http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1078-45184.108.40.206
Sultz, H.A., & Kroth, P.J. (2018). Sultz and Young’s health care USA: Understanding its organization and delivery, 9th ed. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Health Promotion and Wellness Across the Lifespan Essay