The study, life experiences of HIV/AIDS carriers in terms of the perspectives of the promotion of health, was based on patients who were diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus. These patients were brought together to share their knowledge and life experiences with one another. They were educated as a group on the illness, prevention, therapeutic and medical management. In turn it allowed these patients to open up and educate one another on therapeutic ways to live with this illness to improve their quality of life.
Many advances have been made in improvement of the quality of life and an increased survival rate for patients diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus. The availability of antiretroviral drugs have made a significant asset as well as and understanding of education that is now available on the illness to improve, prevent and maintain a healthy quality of life.
The method of this study uses qualitative analysis that helps us understand by using documented data and theory. This consists of grouping the components to similarities and differences and then regrouping based on common characteristics. This data was taken from a self-help group that was developed by a project called, Study Group of HIV/AIDS and Associated Diseases Nucleus and approved by the Committee of Ethics in Research of the Ceará Federal University. This project was originated to help educate patients on their health and to prevent and deal with stressful situations that may arise with living with this incurable illness. This group was held weekly and open to the pubic managed by a nursing team who based it on interpersonal relationships and knowledge. Patients were asked to make a clinical appointment before attending the sessions.
Researchers used a proforma that included gender, age, comments and testimonies given by the patients over a period of 33 group meetings with 53 patients whom attended. A transparent conception of language was done to understand the thinking of conversations that were expressed and discussed by the patients. They used a three step analytical technique. The first phase is pre-analysis where they organize the data, the second is exploration phase where the information is analyzed, and the third phase is treatment where they base it on common results from the compared data on the patients. Education was given by nurses who mediated the group discussion. The importance of antiretroviral therapy for a patient with this illness to reduce morbi-mortality such as hepatitis, tuberculosis, liver disease, and kidney disease and prevent immunodeficiency. Adhesion to the drug therapy is particularly crucial with these patients in order for therapeutic levels and to prevent immunosuppression. A blood test that detects a patient’s viral load every 3 to 6 months determines the progression of the disease and the effectiveness of the therapy (Adams & Urban, 2019, p. 929). Even when patients human immunity virus RNA levels are not detected, antiretroviral therapy must still be taken (Adams & Urban, 2019, p. 928). People living with HIV may go into a latent phase. During this phase patients do not exhibit any symptoms and do not think they are infected (Adams & Urban, 2019, p. 928). With the proper education, patients should be aware of treatment to ensure compliance and overall health.
Patients confirmed that by acknowledging that they have this illness, it has improved their daily routines and allowed them to take better care of themself. Patients also expressed ways that they continuously keep themselves educated on the disease and new discoveries that arise. These patients expressed the need to use self-help and educate them on not only what the disease is medically stated compared to what state of health that they are currently in and ways to improve it to live a healthier lifestyle.
Antiretroviral drugs were discussed amongst the groups. Patients expressed what drug worked best for them, side effects, regimen and whether or not they were compliant. One patient shared that after a month of being on the mediation, his/her symptoms lessened. Adhesion to drug therapy was also discussed and crucial for to maintain and prevent immunosuppression. By educating patients on the medication and what adverse effects they may come across with help them understand how it is is working and how compliance is the most important for a therapeutic level.
From a medical perspective, the discussion on antiretroviral drugs was discussed so that patients can benefit from the treatment. When you have a large group of people who voluntarily join a self-help group, I feel you may be able to connect a little easier when they are proactive on their health and willing to listen and learn. Offering this group, allows people to be involved and take control of their illness. One patient stated that he/she made friends at this group. That opens a door for someone who they can reach out to and understand what they are going through emotionally and physically. During that time, it is important to take advantage of teaching and motivating the patients about the drugs, further prevention, and transmission that may take place.
In my opinion, the key implications of the results were that the group not only educated people with the disease but served as a therapeutic environment that opening the discussions up for a happier and healthier life. A patient stated, he/she liked the group and it helped treat their depression along with making friends. Being in that type of environment allowed the participants to open up and express their feelings, stereotypes and fears. Another patient expressed that before finding out he/she had human immunodeficiency virus, he/she had many friends, now that she was diagnosed, they are no longer friends.
Patients living with human immunodeficiency virus struggle with serious mental illness. Knowing that they are likely to die young and possibly contract others through sexual content is hard to accept (Adams & Urban, 2019, p. 931).
I like the way this article was written. It allowed me to understand what was being discussed and addressed in the self-help group. I believe that this group allowed people with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome to not feel isolated and open up for improvements to their quality of life. It provided the opportunity for the exchange of thoughts, individual experiences, and hope. Notes that were taken from these sessions were positive thoughts that I understood as a change of what they were once feeling. Comments like, I’ve stopped drinking and I’m much better with my wife and I am very rigorous in my drug schedule now made me believe that before they participated in this group, they weren’t fully educated and may have misinterpreted what they have been told or perceived what was the truth. Patients were properly educated and I feel it gave them hope to a healthy life. By researching this topic and writing this paper, I realized that mental health is extremely important with patients living not only with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, but any lifelong disease. In nursing practice, I feel the importance of therapeutic communication would be most beneficial for these patients. As a nurse, listening and allowing them to express their concerns, fears, and needs will help in identifying what is most important to that particular patient and lifestyle so I am able to serve the best nursing practice.
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