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CE: Nursing in the Fourth Decade of the HIV Epidemic

Starr, Whitney Marie MS, BSN, RN, FNP; Springer, Lucy Bradley PhD, MA, MSN, BSN, RN

AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000444491.93733.53
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Abstract

OVERVIEW: HIV has evolved over the past 30 years from a virtual death sentence to a chronic and manageable disease. Nurses in the United States have helped to change the epidemic through advocacy, education, care, and support for people living with HIV infection. They have contributed to the expansion of HIV prevention methods, provided support to this population and their families, and helped make HIV treatments more effective and efficient. People with HIV infection who access and remain in care can now enjoy both an improved quality of life and a greater life expectancy. Here, the authors discuss HIV epidemiology and policy in the United States, the concept of the HIV care cascade, advances in HIV testing and treatment, and how nurses can continue to have a positive impact on the HIV epidemic by encouraging testing, connecting newly diagnosed patients to specialty care, retaining these patients in long-term care, and providing access to combination antiretroviral therapy.

In Brief

This article provides a review of HIV epidemiology and policy in the United States, the concept of the HIV care cascade, advances in HIV testing and treatment, and how nurses can continue to have a positive impact on the management of the disease.

Author Information

Whitney Marie Starr is an assistant professor and Lucy Bradley-Springer is an associate professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine in Aurora. Whitney Marie Starr has served as a consultant for Gilead Sciences, a manufacturer of drugs for infectious diseases, some of which are discussed in this article. Lucy Bradley-Springer received a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to fund the Mountain Plains AIDS Education and Training Center, a program initiated in 1988 to educate health care providers in eight states about HIV infection. Through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act Mobility Program, she works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to teach health coaches in six clinics throughout the country about ways to help HIV-infected patients prevent HIV transmission, remain in care, and practice medication adherence. She owns stock in Johnson and Johnson and Merck. Products manufactured by these companies are discussed in this article. Contact author: Lucy Bradley-Springer, lucy.bradley-springer@ucdenver.edu. AJN’s peer review process has determined this article to be objective and free of commercial bias. The planners have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. All rights reserved.