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Communicable diseases, also called transmissible or infectious diseases, are ailments that emanate from the presence, infection, and expansion of pathogenic (capable of triggering ailments) biologic forms in an animal host or human beings. Infection of a communicable disease may vary in seriousness from being asymptomatic or without symptoms to serious and fatal (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). Nonetheless, it is essential to acknowledge that the term infection does not imply a similar meaning as infectious ailment because some infections do not lead to ailment in a host (CDC, 2022). Hence, the essay examines HIV as communicable disease, as well as explores the determinants of health and how they facilitate the development of the condition. The essay also looks into the epidemiologic triangle as it connects to HIV, which focusing on the host, agent, and environmental factors. The analysis shows that various groups, including the community, schools, and the general population need watch out while considering certain factors to manage the disease as effectively as possible. The paper reveals that the community health nurse has a fundamental role to play, especially with regard to handling data and making follow-ups. In addition, the description identifies a national organization responsible for handling the condition and how the agency contribute to mitigating or averting the effects of the disease. The analysis further discusses the global implications of HIV, as well as explores how other nations deal with the problem. The provided information is helpful and proper application of some of the ideas may help to deal with the condition as effectively as possible. Whereas HIV is a threatening communicable ailment, embracing suitable intervention mechanisms may help to address the condition as effectively as possible.

Description of a Communicable Disease

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that attacks the immune system of the body. If the virus is left untreated, it can result in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). There is presently no proper cure for HIV because once a person gets the virus, they have it for the rest of their life. However, it is possible to control or manage HIV through effective medical attention (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). Those living with the virus can live long through appropriate HIV treatment, and be able to have healthy lives and safeguard their partners. The disease caused by a virus spreads via sexual contact, unlawful injection drug utilization, contact with contaminated blood, sharing needles, or from mother to child via breastfeeding, childbirth, or pregnancy (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). Typically, the ailment tampers with the CD4 cells, which are primarily the white blood cells that are responsible for assisting the body to counter disease. An infected person shows signs such as fever, headache, fatigue, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. However, the affected person will depict signs such as dry cough, pneumonia, diarrhea that lasts several weeks, weight loss, depression, memory loss, and recurrent fever when the condition changes to AIDS (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). The treatment for the communicable disease is known as antiretroviral therapy (ART), which entails taking particular drugs, which together could be referred to as the HIV treatment regimen each day (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). However, the treatment does not cure the condition, but prolongs lives and promotes healthier lives. Based on the description, it is apparent that individuals have to be careful to avoid contracting the virus that appears to be evidently deadly.

Overall, incidences of HIV are going down and so is the mortality rate. Overall, incidences dropped 8.0% from 2015 to 2019. In the year 2019 in the U.S., the projected number of infections was about 34,798 and the infection rate was approximately 12.6% for every 100,000 people (, 2021). By age group, the yearly number of infections in 2019 contrasted to 2015, dropped among people aged 14-25 and those aged 44-55, but continued to be stable among all other ages. In 2019, the infection rate was considerably high for those aged 24-34, which is about 30% followed by those whose age fall between 34 and 45 or 17% (, 2021). Early diagnosis of the condition is essential and may boost the treatment process because nearly 13.1% of those living with the condition in the U.S. do not know about their status and so require testing (, 2021). Besides, mortality from HIV has not been among the leading causes of mortality in the U.S. since 1997. The age-adjusted mortality for the condition increased significantly in 1995 at about 16.4% for every 100,000 population, dropped 69% through 1999, and then further reduced 30.1% from 2000 through 2007, to 3.6% for 100,000 population (, 2021). Also important to mention is that HIV is a reportable disease, which means that it is deemed to be of significant public health importance. In the U.S., all states require health-care practitioners to report new incidences to their respective state health departments. As of 1990, about 55% of all states also advocated for reporting of individuals infected with HIV (, 2021). Overall, the data suggests that it is increasingly becoming possible to control and manage HIV.

Determinants of Health and how they contribute to Disease Development

Various determinants of health would determine the development of HIV/AIDS. Social determinants in this instance refers to those factors in the society that increase a person or community’s probability for developing the disease. Key examples of the determinants include marital status and gender. An unmarried person is more likely to interact with more sexual partners, something that increases their risk of getting HIV. On the other hand, gender may put one at risk of contracting the virus because the evidence by ILO (2020) shows that girls and women are at greater risk of contracting the virus because they may not be as defensive as their male counterparts. The other social determinant is whether someone is a victim of sexual violence such as rape (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). Such victims are at considerable threat of contracting the virus because they may not determine or influence their attackers to use protection. The other social determinant that could determine one’s risk of getting infected in level of education. It is expected that educated individuals are likely to take precautions that would safeguard them against potential infections as opposed to non-educated persons who may not take necessary measures to protect themselves due to lack of the needed knowledge. Besides, an individual’s social status is another social determinant that could determine the contraction of the virus (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). Often people in the low social hierarchy may be swayed into unprotected sex with the motive of making money, a practice that could lead to infection. Thus, it is important to understand how the social determinants work to reduce one’s chances of being a victim.

Epidemiologic Triangle

For HIV, the epidemiologic triangle, which is the traditional framework for infectious disease, identify three interrelated factors that could facilitate the development of the disease. The model, which is a form of a communicable disease chain of infection encompass external agents, susceptible hosts, and an environment that connects the agents and hosts. According to the argument by Kharsany and Karim (2016) the agent, host, and the environment interrelate in various ways to produce an ailment. Typically, different ailments require diverse interactions and balances of these three elements. In the epidemiologic triangle for HIV, the infection emerges from the interactions between agents and susceptible hosts in a setting that encourages passage of the agent from the original source to a host. The agent in this case refers to the microorganism that is responsible for causing the infection and disease (CDC, 2022). It is imperative to inform various groups how the triangle works to equip them with relevant information and skills on how to address the disease. For instance, it is of particular importance to sensitize communities, learners in schools, and the general population about how the epidemiologic triangle works because this is likely to influence how they understand the disease and its potential effects. Consequently, deploying the epidemiologic triangle is a crucial step towards fighting HIV at different levels.

Role of Community Health Nurse and Importance of Demographic Data

Community health nurses play fundamental functions in the handling of HIV-related issues and cases. Hence, those who are charged with the task must be competent and equipped with relevant knowledge that would enable them to excel in their operations (ILO, 2020). The practitioners are responsible for identifying new cases and determining the magnitude of the infection. Community health nurses indulge in data collection, prepares, and delivers needed reports about their findings. In addition community health nurses uses effective approaches to facilitate the data analysis process, to understand particular trends and patterns. The data analysis offers an overview of the trend of infection, and offers insight into what needs to happen to mitigate the situation. Moreover, the practitioners conduct a follow-up to find out whether measures enacted in prior yield targeted goals, or whether more need to happen to improve the situation (ILO, 2020). Consistently following up with patients and other stakeholders will keep the communication channels open, which is a suitable thing for all participating sides. Moreover, following up with patients helps elevate their overall encounter and experiences with the service provider. The practitioner through the follow up might even solve issues before they become unbearable (ILO, 2020). The practitioners often use demographic data to make key decisions about their operations. Such data comprise of a range of socioeconomic information, encompassing the analysis of population by income, age, gender, employment status, and race or ethnicity. The information helps to determine whether the rate of infection has to do anything with one or more of the demographic factors, and whether adopting particular approaches may help to deal with the issue effectively.

National Agency that Works to Address the Disease

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is an established agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that is responsible for mitigating HIV/AIDS through the HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB). The Bureau manages the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) and serves a fundamental purpose in helping identify, treat, avert, and react to cases as a way of bringing to an end the HIV epidemic (HRSA, 2022). HRSA through HAB and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program offers a comprehensive attention to HIV primary medical care, vital services for low-income earners, and medications (HRSA, 2022). The RWHAP provides financial support to local-community based institutions, counties, states, cities, and states to offer treatment and care to those living with the virus to enhance health outcomes and avert the spread of among populations that are difficult to reach.

The RWHAP falls into five distinct sections in accordance with relevant legislations. Part A provides financial support for medical services to transitional grant and eligible metropolitan areas, which refer to the states and cities worst hit by the disease. Part B provides funds for territories and states to enhance the quality, presence, and services of HIV care and support (HRSA, 2022). Some of the beneficiaries for this program include the Virgin Islands, the District of Colombia, the fifty American states, Pacific territories belonging to the U.S., and Puerto Rico. Part C and Part D provide funds for community-based organizations to offer comprehensive care and ambulatory and outpatient services, respectively (HRSA, 2022). The final section, Part F facilitates the provision of funds to promote the training of practitioners, facilitate technical services, and develop innovative models. Thus, it is apparent from the analysis of RWHAP that HRSA has adequate plans for dealing with HIV.

Global Implications

HIV causes global concern because of its effects that could be serious if concerned parties do not take swift and effective mitigation. Despite the availability of medications that can manage HIV and even decrease viral transmission, the disease is still a major cause of death and a health concern to millions of people all over the globe, In 2019 alone, nearly 690,000 succumbed to HIV/AIDS-related complications and another 1.8 million people were newly infected with the virus (CDC, 2022). The condition causes considerable burden to infected individuals and affected families because of the emotional and financial burden associated with the illness (CDC, 2022). However, with more effective ways of managing the condition continue to emerge, many are hopeful that the global implications will become less serious and threatening.

Nations embrace mitigation approaches that they think will work best for them. The U.S. and many nations have embraced antiretroviral drugs alongside other intervening approaches, including educating people about the various ways of being safe against the disease. Other nations and cultures have embraced the use of traditional medicine to manage the infection. For example, Zou et al. (2012) reveals how the Chinese have an assortment of herbal and traditional medicines for treating the disease. Trained Chinese herbalists are tasked with the duty of issuing traditional medicine, which encompasses a broad range of practices, therapies, and theories (Zou et al., 2012). An analysis of the two nations suggest that the approaches adopted to address HIV vary considerably across countries.

However, HIV seems to be a serious threat to particular areas, with the worst hit areas being some developing economies. With about two-thirds of people living with the infection universally, the Sub-Saharan Africa is the worst hit region. However, the disease is also widespread in some Asian and Pacific nations. An example of a country where HIV can be termed as being endemic is South Africa, which is termed as the epicenter of the virus. Of every person living with HIV in the world, 20% are from South Africa, and about 20% of new infections are also from the country (Allinder, 2019). In some South African provinces such as KwaZulu-Natal, about 60% of women live with the virus (Allinder, 2019). Furthermore, approximately 4,500 people in South Africa get infected each week with the majority being adolescents aged 15 to 24 years (Allinder, 2019). Hence, the situation in South African could be termed as being endemic.


HIV is a serious health condition that requires effective monitoring to avoid the adverse effects associated with the ailment. A person can contract the virus through various ways, which calls for great caution. However, infected individuals can take antiretroviral drugs that prove to be effective in lessening the serious implications of the disease. Even though one does not get cured by adhering to the antiretroviral therapy they become healthier and have an opportunity to live longer. The analysis reveals that certain social determinants of health could determine the development of HIV, and knowing them could keep one safe. In the U.S., HRSA and community health nurses play fundamental roles in addressing the illness. The HRSA through its programs channel funds where it is needed with the goal of dealing with the problem. Community health nurses on their part indulge in a number of services while relying on concrete data and information. Globally, HIV is one of the leading causes of deaths as opposed to in the U.S. where rate of infection has decreased considerably. The intervention approaches seem to vary across countries with some nations such as China embracing traditional medicine that locals find to be effective. In other societies such as South Africa, the situation could be termed as endemic with at least 4500 new infections each day.


Allinder, S. (2019). The world’s largest HIV epidemic in crisis: HIV in South Africa.

CDC. (2022). HIV surveillance report.,infections%20had%20not%20been%20diagnosed.&text=In%2050%20states%20and%20the%20District%20of%20Columbia.&text=CDC.,States%202015%E2%80%932019pdf%20icon. (2021). U.S. statistics.,12.6%20(per%20100%2C000%20people).

HRSA. (2022). HIV/AIDS Bureau.,A%20Plan%20for%20America%22%20initiative.

ILO. (2020). HIV/AIDS and its impact.—ed_dialogue/—act_emp/documents/publication/wcms_590266.pdf

Kharsany, A., & Karim, Q. (2016). HIV infection and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: Current status, challenges and opportunities. The Open AIDS Journal, 10, 34-48. doi: 10.2174/1874613601610010034

Zou, W., Liu, Y., Li, H., & Liao, X. (2012). Traditional Chinese herbal medicines for treating HIV infections. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine,

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