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ESSAY: Health Disparities

Choose one of the health disparities listed below. Find an article (no older than 5 years) from a professional nursing journal that addresses this disparity. Then complete the assignment below.

Assignment:

Identify the disparity. Discuss why you chose this disparity. (1 point)
In your own words, provide a synopsis of the journal article. Be succinct. One good paragraph should be sufficient. Attach a copy of the journal article. (If article is not attached, zero points will be awarded. A link to a document is not considered a copy.) (2 points)
Discuss your professional experiences with this health disparity. (2 points)
Discuss what you believe could/should be done to assist individuals in reducing this health disparity. (5 points)
Submit a Word document in size 12 Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Page limit: 2.
Disparities:

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Racial minority (choose one)
Homelessness (it may helpful to be specific about the cause of homelessness—mental illness, loss of job, drug addiction, etc.)
Immigrants with decreased English skills
Women
Children
Geographic distribution (rural or inner city)
HIV/AIDS status

Supplemental Materials
Centers for Disease Control. (2013, Nov. 22). CDC health disparities and inequalities report. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 62 (3). 1-186. Retrieved from BU’s Cullom – Davis Library (PDF)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (2014, August). Highlights: 2013 national healthcare quality & disparities reports. (AHRQ Pub. No. 14-0005-1). Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from BU’s Cullom – Davis Library (PDF)

ANSWER

Health Disparities

HIV/AIDS Status

The health disparity to touch on in this section is HIV/AIDS. There have been tremendous prevention efforts put in place to ensure the spread and infection of people with HIV/AIDS have gone down. This has been done hand in hand with a reduction in the spread of viral hepatitis, TB, and STDs. There has been an occurrence of HIV/AIDS among certain groups, more that it is experienced by others. The differences occur based on gender, ethnicity, income levels, race, geographic location, disability, and sexual orientation. The main reason for choosing HIV/AIDS status as a health disparity is that it is linked to several and common social determinants of health. Some of them include unequal access to health care, stigma, poverty, and racism.

The journal to discuss and use as a point of reference, in this case, is titled, “HIV-Related Health Disparities,” and it has been authored by the Washington State Department of Health. The journal discusses some of the main reasons as to why the United States will soon become a place where HIV/AIDS infections are low. This will happen regardless of the differences that exist with respect to sexual orientation, race, age, gender, or socio-economic status (Washington State Department of Health, 2015). The journal states that the nation has been gearing towards reduced discrimination, stigma, and increased access to high-quality health care. According to the article, HIV/AIDS status disparities do not occur in isolation. They are included as part of the large environmental systems that lead to inequalities. There are specific indicators of inequality that have been attempting to associate themselves with the social determinants in order to reduce the health disparities of this nature.

A professional experienced with HIV/AIDS-related health disparity revolves around some of the measures put in place to identify it. For many years, the rates of HIV diagnosis, as well as linked care, have been fluctuating. According to some of the resources that I have interacted with, young adults are the most vulnerable. They are seen to be sexually active and, therefore, are exposed to many events that are likely to lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS. This is the age group that many feel needs to be educated in order to understand ways of refraining from unprotected sex.

The HIV/AIDS health disparities are also caused by the lack of proper awareness of the nature of the infection. Most people who have HIV/AIDS end up being stigmatized and left to struggle by themselves (World Health Organization, 2011). This is because society feels that such people have led a reckless life and that they do not know the importance of responsible sexual intercourse. The disparities are also evident when looked from the perspective of race. African Americans have been found out to be at a high risk of HIV/AIDS as compared to whites.

In order to reduce the health disparities associated with HIV/AIDS, the best thing is to come up with programs that provide direct health care treatments to those who have been diagnosed with the infection. It is also essential to engage in research that will lead to the identification of drugs that reduce viral suspension in the systems of those diagnosed with the infection (Mandsager et al., 2018). Such services are supposed to be available for the most vulnerable groups, such as the youth, African Americans, women, and transgender persons. Planning and appropriate allocation of health resources to the most affected regions will also reduce the health disparity to a great extent.

References

Mandsager, P., Marier, A., Cohen, S., Fanning, M., Hauck, H., & Cheever, L. W. (2018). Reducing HIV-related health disparities in the health resources and services administration’s Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. American journal of public health108(S4), S246-S250.

Washington State Department of Health. (2015). HIV-Related Health Disparities 2015. Special Emphasis Workgroup Washington State Department of Health

World Health Organization. (2011). Global health sector strategy on HIV/AIDS 2011-2015.

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