Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV) is a virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV/AIDS reduces the immunity of the body towards infections and exposes the body mainly to opportunistic diseases. As a matter of fact, HIV/AIDS has no cure but antiretroviral (ARV) treatment measures and other prophylactic measures actually lengthen the lifespan of a person infected with the virus. Walker (2003, P. 4) argues that the HIV epidemic is more severe in developing countries especially in the sub-Saharan Africa where they attributed poverty to being the greatest factor. Additionally, due to the high rates of new infections experienced globally, there is a limitation of funds and resources to treat and manage the new infections worldwide. Therefore, there is really need to integrate both HIV treatment and prevention to reduce the cost of treatment. Due to this I really felt the need to research on the essence of integrating both preventive and ARV treatment measures to be able to predict the prevalence and effects of HIV/AIDS especially in sub-Saharan Africa in the year 2020 and also years after (Salomon et al., 2005, P. 50).
HIV pandemic poses a great threat to the human population despite global commitment to eradicate the disease. This is highly accelerated by the fact that the virus is spreading at an alarming and alerting rate. Bertozzi and his friends (on their research on “HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment” argued that by the end of 2005, over 40 million people were actually living the disease or the infection. Regarding the impacts and high spread of HIV/AIDS, this research is designed to look into the possible effectiveness and potency of integrating both the preventive and ARV treatment measures to reduce the chances of new infections and also provide a healthy and long life for those already infected with the virus. Additionally, this research actually tries to predict the possible range of positive and negative health results under various scenarios that might occur by the year 2020 if both preventive and treatment measurements are put into consideration (Salomon et al., 2005, P. 50).
Integration of both HIV treatment and prevention is a major topic of discussion all over the world. World health governing bodies and other private sectors aimed at reducing the rate of new infections have been striving hard to integrate preventive measures to be able to supplement ARV treatment methods. In addition, HIV/AIDS is the current greatest health threat all over the world since it has no known specific cure. Due to this, several organizations including World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations (UN) have been prompted to take massive actions towards implementing the integration of both the preventive and the treatment measures of HIV. Also according the current data available, these two bodies predict a stable prevalence rate of HIV by the year 2020. Additionally, ARV treatment has been facing a great challenge; inadequate resources and funds to avail the therapy to all infected persons all over the world (Salomon et al., 2005, Pp. 50-51).
Salmon and his friends argue that the effectiveness of integrating both preventive and treatment measures is significant since the two measures are dependent on each other. They argue that treatment makes prevention more effective and possible while treatment actually makes prevention more affordable. Additionally HIV can be argued as being the most expensive virus to maintain since the available Anti-Retroviral Therapies (ART) present are really very expensive to acquire especially in developing countries like Sub-Saharan nations in Africa. This is also justified by the argument of Bachman, Stuart and Schietinger (2006, P.5) who suggested that prevention, care and treatment are almost closely related and are the most effective way of dealing with HIV pandemic (8).
This research actually is very different from others in that it analyzes on the impacts and effects of other methods of prevention and treatment. For example, the research explicitly looks at the effects of creating public awareness through mass media, voluntary counseling and testing, promotion and distribution of condoms, youth counseling and peer counseling of commercial sex workers, treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STIs) and prevention of mother to child transmission (Salmon et al., 2005, P. 51).
Beyond the scope of this paper, the research focus is limited to discussions on how HIV progresses in the body to the extent of lowering the immunity of the body because there were no models and designs setup to monitor these factors.
The following were some of the questions our objectives were based on:
1. What is the importance of integrating both HIV preventive and treatment measures?
2. What are some of the positive and negative health results under various scenarios that might occur by the year 2020 if both preventive and treatment measurements?
3. What were the treatment and preventive measures used in the research?
Salmon and his friends used an epidemiological design marked to sub-Saharan Africa to find out some of the positive and negative health consequences under different occasions that contemplate alternating implementation of prevention and treatment (51). They adopted the design marked by the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS and the World Health Organization. Unlike other previous researches, they marked the model they adopted in three African regions; East, West and Central Africa and used them to effect the prevention and treatment of HIV. In addition, some of the demographic factors put into consideration in the model included contraction of HIV and other STIs, advancement from HIV to AIDS and finally to death. Additionally, their methods divided the sexually active groups in Africa into: Bachelors, spinsters, married couples and commercial sex workers. Also, the calculations were made using the parameters from the calibrations made earlier own but separating the female parameters from males. These calculations were made up to the year 2020. Unlike other researches their research also included other prevention measures like media campaigns, counseling and testing, counseling of commercial sex workers and condom promotion campaigns.
Review of the Literature
According to Salmon (51), Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rate of HIV infection in the whole world. In his research, he argues that the rates of infection and mortality are expected to increase. For example, he projects the change in the whole number of infections by 2020 to be a decrease to 6 % from 10% while AIDS mortality rate decrease from 13% to 9% if treatment measurements are put in place without preventive measurements. On the contrary, the decrease will be greater if a preventive strategy is also laid in place; infections rates to decrease by 36% while mortality rates remain the same. In summary, Salmon argues that both treatment and prevention measures will greatly lower the rate of infections by the year 2020.
Bertozzi and his friends (2010, Pp. 331-333) argue that HIV pandemic needs a global commitment to be able to eradicate putting into consideration the resent data on rates of new infections; by the end of 2005, they argue that approximately 40 million people were already infected with the virus. Additionally, they argue that various antiretroviral therapies (ART) have actually changed the perception of the disease hence giving many people hope of life. They also argue that, HIV prevention is the only sure way of ensuring that the rate of infection is greatly lowered. On the opposite, they argue that, absence of public awareness and access to preventive and prophylactic measurements act like barriers to HIV prevention (338).
Askew and Berer (2003, Pp. 51-57) argue that HIV transmission is highly due to sexual intercourse and breastfeeding; about 80%. Additionally, they debate that counseling on proper protection using condoms and also other forms of guidance are really essential in case prevention of HIV is to be achieved. Also in their research, they put into considerations family planning methods, delivery care and antenatal care as the most efficient channels through which counseling should be done to prevent HIV spread. Finally, they propose for adoption of outreach programs which actually are the best for controlling HIV propagation.
Bachman, Stuart and Schietinger (2006, Pp. 5-10) in their report contend that, HIV prevention should basically be directed towards those highly at risk than those already infected. They also argue that prevention plays a greater part in the ending of the HIV pandemic in the world. They argue that in 2005 about 40.1 million people became newly infected with HIV while 2.8 million people lost their lives to the deadly disease. In addition, they actually recommend for effective preventive measurements to be designed to counter and supplement the ART therapeutic measurements.
Walker (2003, Pp. 4-8) argues and contends that, HIV prevention strategies are the most effective and cheaper methods of HIV eradication and control. Therefore, in their research they actually base on ways of installing measures that cut down the cost of prevention and treatment which are actually the basis of decision making.
In conclusion, integration of both HIV prevention and treatment measures can be argued as the most effective way of controlling the highly rampant rate of HIV spread especially in sub-Saharan regions of Africa. Additionally, both preventive and ART treatment measurements provide a cost-effective method of HIV treatment.
Askew, I., and Berer, M. “The Contribution of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services to the Fight against HIV/AIDS: A Review.” Reproductive Health Matters 11 .22 (2003): 51–73. http://www.popcouncil.org/pdfs/frontiers/journals/AskewBerer.pdfBachman, G., Stuart, L., and Schietinger, H. Health Manager’s Guide: Integrating HIV Prevention in the Care
Setting. Kabwe, Zambia: Family Health International, 2006: 1-80. http://www.fhi.org/training/en/HIVAIDS/prevcare/pdfs/health_managers_guide_integrating_prevention_care.pdf
Bertozzi, S., et al. “Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries” .HIV Prevention and Treatment, Chapter 18, 331-369. http://files.dcp2.org/pdf/DCP/DCP18.pdf
Salomon, Joshua A., et al. “Integrating HIV Prevention and Treatment: From Slogans to Impact”. PLoS Journal of Medicine 2. 1 (2005): 50-56. http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/servicios/sida/integrating_hiv_prevention_and_treatment-_from_slogans_to_impact.pdf
Walker, D. “Cost and Effectiveness of HIV Prevention Strategies in Developing Countries: Is there Evidence?” Health Policy and Planning 18.1(2003):4-17. http://heapol.oxfordjournals.org/content/18/1/4.full.pdf+html