HIV and AIDS Nursing Care Management

Despite the promise of combination antiretroviral therapy and the prophylaxis of opportunistic pathogens in preventing or delaying HIV-related illnesses, some persons with HIV disease will become sick enough to require hospitalization. Nursing care of persons with HIV disease is an essential component of comprehensive patient care. The inpatient or acute care of persons with HIV disease requires intensive nursing care. In one study, Glover and colleagues concluded that patients admitted to the hospital with an AIDS diagnosis had significantly more nursing care requirements than non-AIDS patients, with the exception of those patients with AIDS admitted to critical care. Hospitalization for a person with HIV disease may represent a psychosocial transition (an experience that changes the person's view of the world), a developmental experience, a stress-inducing experience, and/or an existential crisis. Persons hospitalized with HIV disease confront profound questions related to their illness, the availability of effective treatment, their ability to pay for the care, loneliness, and the future - will they die, will they get well enough to leave the hospital, and when discharged from the hospital, will they continue to get the care and support they need. For adults with HIV disease, it is often an adjustment to increase contact with the health care system, manage the demands of treatment, and increase dependence on others, including health care providers, when they would otherwise have been self-sufficient. This change in roles and relationships almost always occurs in the course of advancing HIV disease and may be quite threatening.

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