Tragic Plane Crash, Truvada Concerns, Changing Infection Rates: AIDS/HIV Issues in the News

Truvada Truvada / via Wikimedia Commons

By Jacob Molyneux, AJN senior editor

There have been a number of recent high-profile news stories as well as some notable new research related to HIV/AIDS and its treatment and prevention.

First, AJN would like to add its voice to those expressing heartfelt regret at the deaths of a number of prominent and widely respected HIV advocates and researchers in the Malaysia Airlines jet that appears to have been shot down over Ukraine last week.

The Truvada controversy. Those who who died on the plane had been heading to an international conference in Melbourne, Australia, where one of the hot topics under discussion would be the pros and cons of the continuing expansion of the use of the antiretroviral drug Truvada beyond the treatment of existing HIV infection to long-term prophylactic use by the uninfected.

The topic is particularly timely here in New York where Governor Cuomo last week announced that New York State would make Truvada a centerpiece of its HIV-prevention strategy. The drug, taken every day, is more than 90% effective in preventing infection, but, as an NPR story recently described, a number of experts have raised concerns about widespread long-term use of Truvada for HIV prevention, noting

  • serious potential side effects of Truvada.
  • the $1,300/a month cost […]
July 21st, 2014|infectious diseases, Nursing|0 Comments

Nursing, HIV/AIDS, Continuity of Care, Treatment Advances, and the ACA: The Essentials

As the Affordable Care Act takes effect, a timely overview in AJN of recent developments in screening, treatment, care, and demographics of the HIV epidemic

CascadeofCare The ‘cascade of care’ (from the AJN article)

The newly released March issue of Health Affairs is devoted to looking at the ways the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect Americans with HIV/AIDS and those who have recently been in jail. One crucial feature of the ACA is that it prevents insurance companies from refusing coverage to those with a number of preexisting conditions. If you have a preexisting condition and don’t get insurance through work, you know how important this is.

Unfortunately, a large majority of those with HIV and AIDS do not have private health insurance. One article in the March issue of Health Affairs draws attention to the plight of the 60,000 or so uninsured or low-income people with HIV or AIDS who will not receive health insurance coverage because their states are among those that have chosen to opt out of the ACA provision that expands Medicaid eligibility. This means many patients in these states may lack consistent care and reliable access to life-saving drugs.

Antiretroviral therapy (ART) improves patient quality of life and severely reduces expensive and debilitating or fatal long-term health problems in those with HIV/AIDS. As noted in AJN‘s March CE article, “Nursing […]

AJN’s March Issue: New Series on Systematic Reviews, HIV Update, C. Diff on the Rise, Sexual Assault, More

AJN0314.Cover.OnlineAJN’s March issue is now available on our Web site. Here’s a selection of what not to miss, including two continuing education (CE) articles that you can access for free.

Advances in HIV testing and treatment. The photo on our cover, showing members of  Sexy With A Goal (SWAG), a program provided for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals affected by HIV and AIDS by the AIDS Service Center of New York City’s Lower East Side Peer Outreach Center, reflects the changing face of the AIDs epidemic. Thirty years ago, a diagnosis of HIV was tantamount to a death sentence. But the young men on our cover prove that this is no longer the case. With advances in treatment and patient advocacy, education, and support, HIV is now a chronic, manageable disease. A CE feature, “Nursing in the Fourth Decade of the HIV Epidemic,” discusses HIV epidemiology and policy in the United States, the HIV care cascade, advances in HIV testing and treatment, and how nurses can continue to have a positive impact on the HIV epidemic.

If you’re reading AJN on your iPad, you can watch a video describing one author’s early experience with an HIV-infected patient by tapping on the podcast icon on the first page. The video is also available on our Web site. A

New option for […]

February 28th, 2014|nursing perspective, nursing research|0 Comments

A Face in a Village: Remembering a First Encounter with AIDS in Africa

We’d already guessed there was a problem at the health post—we hadn’t received the last several monthly statistical reports. As a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic in the early 1990s, I reviewed these reports as part of my job at the regional health office. Another part of my job was to join a supervisory team as it traveled over dirt roads to check on health facilities from hospitals down to the village health posts staffed by a single nurse. A few months into my assignment, on our way to the provincial hospital, the team decided to stop by this particular health post to find out why we weren’t receiving reports.

That’s from “A Face in a Village,” the February Reflections essay in AJN by Susi Wyss, the author of a well-received recent novel, The Civilized World (Henry Holt, 2011). Set in Africa, the novel, like this essay, was inspired by the author’s international health career. In this essay, Wyss recalls a vivid first encounter with the ravages of AIDS and the hopelessness it inspired. (Click through to the PDF version for a cleaner read.)—JM, senior editor

February 8th, 2012|Nursing|7 Comments

Remembering the Big Picture, Hypothermia, Nursing Books of the Year

From its earliest beginnings, nursing has embraced a holistic view of health. What we eat, the environments in which we work and live, our social relationships—all these influence health. Yet, as nurses, many of us shy away from looking at the big picture; instead we narrow our focus, addressing only the immediate problems of this patient, this family. It’s true that many patients treated in hospitals or outpatient clinics are there only for a short time. But how will such patients and their families fare in the long run if they lack access to public transportation to get to their follow-up appointments? How can patients recover from illness when they must choose between paying the mortgage and filling prescriptions?

That’s an excerpt from “Voices Rising,” the editorial in the January issue of AJN by Shawn Kennedy, editor-in-chief. We hope you’ll take a moment to read the whole thing and give it some thought.

Also in the January issue, you’ll find plenty of reading suggestions in the AJN 2011 Book of the Year Awards; a CE on the causes, diagnosis, and management of hypothermia; and a great deal more, including a feature, “Cardiac Catheterization Through the Radial Artery,” that advocates the use of the transradial artery rather than the femoral artery for cardiac catheterization in certain situations.—JM, senior editor

January 20th, 2012|Nursing|2 Comments