HIV as a global health issue

One global health issue that impacts the international health community is HIV. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV attacks the CD4 cells (T cells) which are cells that help the body to fight off infections. Overtime, the HIV can destroy many of the T cells that the body will not be able to fight off infection leaving it more propense to opportunistic infections. The opportunistic infection leaves the body very weak and signal that the person has AIDS which is the last stage of HIV. There is no cure for HIV, but with adequate medical care, the virus can be controlled. The antiretroviral therapy is the medicine to treat HIV and it can make the viral load undetectable so the person with HIV can live longer. Commonly, people get or transmit HIV through sex and needle or syringe use. The person infected with HIV can transmit it to other person through body fluids such as blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. HIV can be prevented through abstinence, limiting number of sexual partners , avoiding sharing needles and using condoms. HIV and AIDS are still a problem for United States and other countries around the world. In 2018, “37,832” people were diagnosed with HIV in USA and gay, bisexual and men who have sex with other men accounted for 69% of all new HIV diagnosis. At end of 2016, an estimated “1.1 million” people in USA had HIV with the blacks/African American being the most affected population. In 2018, African Americans accounted for “42%” or all new HIV diagnosis and most cases of HIV occur in metropolitan areas with “500,00” or more people. HIV diagnosis can also vary by age. Young gay and bisexual men ages 13 to 24 accounted for “83%” of all new cases in 2018. Worldwide, there were about “1.7 million” of new cases of HIV in 2018. An estimated “770,000” people died from AIDS related illness in 2018 (CDC, 2019).

Global health plays a role in global security and the security of USA population. The Institute of Medicine 2003, emphasized that USA should improve the capacity to respond to infectious disease threats and to promote an infectious disease surveillance system. The rapid identification and control of the infectious disease can promote health, prevent the spread of the disease and protect the USA population. Many U.S government agencies such as Millennium Development goals provide funding and human resources to global health. In addition, the International health Regulation was implemented with the purpose of preventing international spread of diseases by encouraging countries to work together to share information about known disease (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2020). The U.S. Department of Health and Human services in collaboration with CDC launched an initiative to reduce new HIV infections in the U.S by 90% by 2030. To reduce HIV infection involves prevention, diagnosis, treatment and outbreak response. The intervention is the use of PrEP (a pill that reduces risk of getting HIV) and syringe service program which is a community -based prevention program and provides services such as substance use disorder treatment and disposal of syringes and injection equipment. In diagnosis, the CDC will work in collaboration with communities to expand the HIV testing. Furthermore, all people with HIV should begin treatment as soon as possible after diagnosis and the response to the HIV outbreak should be quick in order to get prevention and treatment services (CDC, 2019). The World Health Organization is one of the stakeholders that work on this issue with the role of global health security by implementing policies and preventative measures to eradicate the health threats (Grand Canyon University, 2018)


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). Ending the HIV Epidemic. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2019). HIV Basics. Retrieved from

Grand Canyon University (Ed) (2018). Community and Public Health: The future of health care. Retrieved from

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2020). Global Health. In healthy People 2020. Retrieved from

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