The spread of Communicable disease is from one person to another. They are diseases one can “catch” from their environment or the people around them. These diseases can spread through direct or indirect contact with the infected. The disease transmission from one person to another can be through mucus, blood, breast milk, semen, saliva, breath, and uterine fluid. Transmission prevention can take the form of high-quality hygiene, proper waste disposal, and safer sex.
In health care provision, the major challenge to healthcare professionals is the prevention and control of communicable diseases. Among the communicable diseases, the leading causes of death are respiratory, diarrheal, and HIV infections. The essay talks about HIV/AIDS because the rate of its spread is quite alarming, both in the developing and developed worlds causing a severe economic impact on the affected. It covers the epidemiology and legal aspects concerning the disease.
Friedman, Hunter, & Parrish (2005) inform that epidemiology is vital to health professionals in that it gives evidence in which to base their decisions and strategies in tackling the continued spread of the disease. Sexual contact is the main transmission route for AIDS, both in homosexual and heterosexual partners. The causal agent is the human-immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) characterized by a wide range of different symptoms and diseases such as opportunist infections, tumors, and neurological disorders (Friedman, Hunter & Parrish,2005). Deficiency of the immune system is the main feature of this Clinical condition because HIV infects and destroys CD4+ T lymphocytes, which are useful for the immune system.
In the state of New Jersey, there are set laws as pertains testing, confidentiality, and treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. A nurse can only perform tests for the detection of the HIV status of a patient after obtaining informed consent, which may be, written or verbally supported with appropriate documentation in the medical records. The law requires that in releasing the results, the facility that requested the test must notify the individual of the test results. Notification of positive results must always include information concerning the availability of supportive services, the significance of informing the partner, and the importance of preventing further transmission. The law also requires that in cases where the patient test results turn out positive, reporting to the county health department within two weeks is a mandate.
The New Jersey law mandates health professionals (in our case, a nurse) to carry out HIV tests on females that they attend to in cases that relate to delivery or gestation and consequently give counseling concerning the availability of support for the test confirms the patient to be positive (Maurer & Smith, 2005). The law states that sixty days before release, inmates have to undergo HIV tests and information kept in their medical records.
When the test is positive, the correctional facility must inform the health department and the inmate given transitional support like education on prevention of further transmission and medical supplies for the medication (Maurer & Smith, 2005). The Federal law prohibits HIV testing as a prerequisite for a patient’s admission or treatment by any facility or licensed medical professional (Maurer & Smith, 2005).
The main agencies that deal with communicable diseases control are the public health service department and the federal bureau branch of the center for disease and prevention (CDC) which collects and analyze data on communicable diseases (Shi & Singh, 2008). Occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) helps provide guidelines on the prevention and treatment of communicable diseases in the working environment.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is involved in performance partnership grants that help fight communicable diseases by improving management and structuring public health programs (Shi & Singh, 2008). In conclusion, epidemiology is crucial in the control of communicable diseases in that it provides evidence on which the health agencies can base their intervention strategies (Shi & Singh, 2008). The legal statute assists in safeguarding the privacy of the sick and the health of their partners in the sense that it prevents further transmission.
Friedman, D., Hunter, E. & Parrish, R. (2005). Health statistics: shaping policy and practice to improve the population’s health. London: Oxford University Press.
Maurer, F. & Smith, C. (2005). Community/public health nursing practice: health for families and populations. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Shi, L. & Singh, D. (2008). Delivering health care in America: a systems approach, 3RD Edition. Ontario: Jones & Bartlett Learning.