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An Intergenerational Perspective of HIV/AIDS Infection

SUBMITTED TO:
Ms. Al Sheree Ann Eupena

SUBMITTED BY:
JUNEL P. BAGUIO
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August 13, 2019


Introduction
The health concern that has gripped the world in recent years is the spread of
the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the Philippines, the first AIDS case was
diagnosed in 1984, although it was only in 1986 that AIDS was declared a notifiable
disease (Laguna, 2004). THE Philippines is one of nine countries where the number
of human immunodeficiency virus-acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV-
AIDS) cases is growing. But what is more alarming is that many of the new victims
are teenagers, with some as young as 15 (Manila Times, 2014). The government is
moving aggressively to confront the problem by instituting an action plan that
emphasizes local responsiveness by governmental agencies and nongovernmental
organizations, the incorporation of HIV/AIDS education into the school curriculum,
and laws forbidding discrimination against persons with HIV/AIDS or those who
belong to at-risk groups (Morisky, 2007).
Definition
HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus, it is a virus that attacks the
immune system, the immune system protects the body against infection and illness .If
the body does not have a strong immune system, It may not be able fight off disease.
The virus and the infection it causes are termed HIV. White blood cells are the part of
the immune system that is important as far as fighting off infection. When a person
catches HIV it infects and destroys certain white blood cells called CD4+ cells. If a lot
of CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body can no longer fight off infection. When HIV
progresses to its last stage it is called AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
People with AIDS have a very low number of CD4+ cells and get infections or cancers
that do not commonly occur in non-infected people. These infections and cancers can
be deadly because the immune system is compromised. A common misconception that
people have is that AIDS and HIV is the same thing. Having HIV doesn't mean you
have AIDS. Even if a patient is never treated for HIV, it still takes a long time for HIV
to turn into AIDS sometimes it can take up to 10 to 12 years for HIV to turn into AIDS
(Bartleby, n.d).
AIDS stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. AIDS is the most
advanced stage of HIV infection. AIDS is the most advanced stage of HIV infection.
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Once HIV infection develops into AIDS, infections and cancer pose a greater risk.
Without treatment, HIV infection is likely to develop into AIDS as the immune
system gradually wears down. However, advances in ART mean than an ever-
decreasing number of people progress to this stage. HIV is a virus that targets and
alters the immune system, increasing the risk and impact of other infections and
diseases. Without treatment, the infection might progress to an advanced disease stage
called Aids. However, modern advances in treatment mean that people living with
HIV in countries with good access to healthcare very rarely develop AIDS once they
are receiving treatment. The life expectancy of a person who carries the HIV virus is
now approaching that of a person that tests negative for the virus, as long as they
adhere to a combination of medications called antiretroviral therapy (ART) on an on-
going basis.

Sexual transmission is the most likely cause of HIV/AIDS in older populations.


Older adults predominantly lack of knowledge about the contraction of HIV/AIDS
infections and many have the presumption that they are not at risk for contracting the
disease. Inadequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS contraction combined with the
inability to apprehend the risks can result in older adults delaying their diagnosis and/or
go untreated (Murell, 2018).
Statistics

The Philippines has been reported to be one of the fastest growing worldwide
in terms of rate of increase in infections of HIV/AIDS with a reported 56,275
cumulative case since 1984 by the Department of Health AIDS Registry (Boliever,
n.d). Data from the Department of Health showed that, as of August 2017, there were
46,985 persons living with HIV in the Philippines. If the government does not adjust
its current HIV preventions and treatment to address the complexities of the HIV
epidemic in the Philippines, the number could triple to 142,000 by 2022. Time check:
2022 is only four years away. HIV in the Philippines is a “youth epidemic." Seven out
ten or about 68% of new HIV infections are among young men or transgender women
who have sex with men are 15 to 24 years old (Santos, 2017). Asia and the Pacific,
where the Philippines belongs, comes second with an estimated 5.2 million HIV
cases, while Western and Central Europe and North America have about 2.2 million.
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There has been a decline in deaths caused by HIV from 2000 to 2017. From 2016, the
number of estimated HIV-related deaths has gone below the one million mark. In
2017, UNAIDS estimated 68,000 Filipinos were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, and the
numbers continue to rise. According to the Philippine National AIDS Council, in
2018, as many as 32 Filipinos are diagnosed daily with HIV/AIDS. The Department
of Health has also previously said that the Philippines has one of the "fastest growing"
HIV epidemics in the world with 57,134 cases recorded from January 1984 to July of
this year. From January to September 2018 alone, the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of
the Philippines (HARP) recorded a total of 8,533 new HIV infections, particularly in
males.

Problem and Relevance

The Philippines is one of the countries where HIV and AIDS still are a big
problem, especially in the parts of the country with a low level of prosperity. In these
parts, for example in Metro Manila, most children are poorly educated and often live
on the streets. Metro Manila is the area that we will be focusing on in our project. In
this area children often do not get a proper education at school and consequently no
sexual education and information about HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted
diseases. Neither do they get sexual information from their parents. Furthermore the
Philippines as a catholic country and the church does not approve the use of
contraceptives and therefore does not give any clear and honest education and
information about these. The lack of information for the youth in Metro Manila causes
ignorance about sex and the risks and consequences of unsafe sex, like pregnancy and
sexually transmitted diseases. This is a big problem and we want to help to solve this
problem. We want to increase the awareness of the consequences of unsafe sex of the
youth in the Philippines, especially focusing on HIV and AIDS (Bonnema, 2012).

Treatment

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of HIV medicines to treat HIV


infection. People on ART take a combination of HIV medicines (called an HIV
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treatment regimen) every day. ART is recommended for everyone who has HIV. ART
can’t cure HIV, but HIV medicines help people with HIV live longer, healthier lives.
ART also reduces the risk of HIV transmission. HIV attacks and destroys the
infection-fighting CD4 cells of the immune system. Loss of CD4 cells makes it hard
for the body to fight off infections and certain HIV-related cancers. HIV medicines
prevent HIV from multiplying (making copies of itself), which reduces the amount of
HIV in the body (also called the viral load). Having less HIV in the body gives the
immune system a chance to recover. Even though there is still some HIV in the body,
the immune system is strong enough to fight off infections and certain HIV-
related cancers. By reducing the amount of HIV in the body, HIV medicines also
reduce the risk of HIV transmission. A main goal of ART is to reduce a person’s viral
load to an undetectable level. An undetectable viral load means that the level of HIV
in the blood is too low to be detected by a viral load test. People with HIV who
maintain an undetectable viral load have effectively no risk of transmitting HIV to
their HIV-negative partner through sex. People with HIV should start ART as soon as
possible. In people with the following conditions, it’s especially important to start
ART right away: pregnancy, AIDS, certain HIV-related illnesses and infections, and
early HIV infection (AIDS Info, 2019).

HIV treatment involves taking medicines that slow the progression of the virus
in your body. HIV is a type of virus called a retrovirus, and the combination of drugs
used to treat it is called antiretroviral therapy (ART). ART is recommended Getting
and staying on HIV treatment because it reduces the amount of HIV in your blood
(also called the viral load) to a very low level. This keeps you healthy and prevents
illness. There is also a major prevention benefit. People living with HIV who take
HIV medication daily as prescribed and get and keep an undetectable viral load have
effectively no risk of sexually transmitting HIV to their HIV-negative partners. This is
called treatment as prevention. If left untreated, HIV attacks your immune system and
can allow different types of life-threatening infections and cancers to develop. If your
CD4 cell count falls below a certain level, you are at risk of getting an opportunistic
infection. These are infections that don’t normally affect people with healthy immune
systems but that can infect people with immune systems weakened by HIV infection.
Your health care provider may prescribe medicines to prevent certain infections. HIV
treatment is most likely to be successful when you know what to expect and are
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committed to taking your medicines exactly as prescribed. Working with your health
care provider to develop a treatment plan will help you learn more about HIV and
manage it effectively. Treatment guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services recommend that a person living with HIV begin ART as soon as
possible after diagnosis. Starting ART slows the progression of HIV and can keep you
healthy for many years. If you delay treatment, the virus will continue to harm your
immune system and put you at higher risk for developing opportunistic infections that
can be life threatening (HIV.Gov).

Reference(s):
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AIDS Info (2019). HIV Treatment: The Basics. Retrieved from:

https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/fact-sheets/21/51/hiv-
treatment--the-basics

Bartleby. Com (n.d). Human Immune Deficiency Virus. Retrieved from:

https://www.bartleby.com/essay/Human-Immune-Deficiency-Virus-Hiv-
F3SDKJA4JPLLX

Boliever, J. (n.d). Hiv-AIDS: Get tested to know status. Retrieved from:


https://pia.gov.ph/features/articles/1019446

Bonemma, O. (2012). Raising the awareness on HIV and AIDS in the Philippines
Retrieved from:
https://www.worldschool.nl/uploads/publications/348a05606ffaf0c07b36dc0b
a7d7ca53.pdf

Laguna,E. (2004). Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and Unsafe Sex Practices Among


Filipino Youth. Retrieved from: https://paa2004.princeton.edu/papers/42109

Manila Times (2014). More young Filipinos HIV-positive. Retrieved from:

https://www.manilatimes.net/more-young-filipinos-hiv-positive/85420/

Morisky, E. (2007). HIV/AIDS in the Philippines. Retrieved from:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8446117_HIVAIDS_in_the_Philippi
nes

Murell, D. (2018). Explaining HIV and AIDS

Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/17131.php

Santos, A. (2017). The epidemic that we can’t afford to ignore. Retrieved from:
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https://www.esquiremag.ph/life/health-and-fitness/the-epidemic-that-may-
infect-142-000-filipinos-in-four-years-a1558-20171205-lfrm