HIV: Stages and Treatment Goals (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:00 Hi! Welcome to our video series.

    00:03 In this one, We're going to kind of give you an introduction to the human immunodeficiency virus.

    00:08 You've probably heard that called HIV.

    00:11 We're going to give an introduction to HIV in the antiretrovirals.

    00:16 Okay so what is the biggest risk of having HIV we all know it's scary, it's really intimidating.

    00:23 But what actually is the biggest risk to our patients? Well, it's the overwhelming of the immune system.

    00:29 See that's how HIV works it infects white blood cells in the body's immune system.

    00:35 Now A specific group of white blood cells called the T helper cells.

    00:39 We're really looking at the level of CD4 T-cells.

    00:43 So now you've got it.

    00:44 The biggest risk of HIV is when someone's immune system becomes overwhelmed so HIV kind of hijacks the immune system by getting into or infiltrating these CD4 T-cells.

    00:57 Now, once they do that you end up with an immune system that can't fight off even simple infections and that's usually what take someone with HIV is life who doesn't receive adequate treatment.

    01:08 The good news is we have really effective treatment if the patient has access to it and they take it on a daily basis.

    01:16 So let's get back to this nasty virus.

    01:18 How does it overwhelm your immune system? Remember it infects a white blood cell and these T helper cells, right? CD4 T cells the virus itself attaches to the T helper cell.

    01:31 See that's how viruses work they infiltrate a cell and they turn it into its own weapon.

    01:37 So it gets to the T helper cell and then it fuses with it.

    01:41 It takes control of the DNA of the helper cell of the good white blood cell that supposed to help me fight off infection.

    01:50 HIV takes control and it replicates itself and releases more HIV into the blood.

    01:56 So it gets into these cells that are supposed to defend my immune system, fuses with it takes control of its DNA and it teaches that cell how to replicate HIV.

    02:07 So here's our goal in treating HIV.

    02:10 We want to stop HIV from becoming AIDS.

    02:13 Remember we talked about the biggest risk to a patient with HIV is having an immune system that's overwhelmed.

    02:20 That's what AIDS is that means their CD4 T-cell count is less than 200 the minimum bottom number is usually 500.

    02:30 So you can see is 200 is significantly lower and they have some type of opportunistic infection.

    02:36 Those are two key signs that tell us the immune system is completely overwhelmed.

    02:42 If someone with HIV progresses to AIDS very difficult treatment from then on out.

    02:48 So that's why we use antiretroviral treatment to stop that process from happening.

    02:54 We want to keep the fewest number of viruses possible in the bloodstream.

    02:59 In fact our goal, would be anyone infected with HIV is to have at undetectable levels.

    03:04 So low that can't be detected.

    03:07 That's our goal.

    03:08 All right, so you've got the concept we've done a quick review over why HIV can be overwhelming to an immune system.

    03:16 We know our goal is to prevent the patient from becoming just HIV-positive progressing to AIDS acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

    03:25 That's what our goal is.

    03:27 Let's talk about how the symptoms and the staging of HIV works.

    03:31 In stage one, that's the first of three stages we're going to talk about after the initial infection can kind of feel like the flu pretty vague symptoms and not even everyone will experience it.

    03:42 So that's why often times people don't realize they've been infected with HIV initially.

    03:47 So they may or may not have some flu-like symptoms in stage 1 Now stage 2, could last a really long period of time it could last up to 10 years or more so you can see it's really variable the length of time and why testing is so important the earlier we can recognize that someone has been exposed as contracted HIV the faster and more efficiently we can get them on an effective treatment plan.

    04:16 So stage one may or may not have some vague symptoms like flu, stage 2 could last for 10 years or more.

    04:23 Now stage 3 is when the person's immune system is so badly damaged that it can no longer fight off serious infection and illnesses.

    04:32 Now looking at these three stages you really only get to stage 3 if you didn't have access to good treatment that is available.

    04:41 So that's the key role you want to know as a nurse.

    04:44 We can intervene through education encouraging testing helping people know there are options out there if it's recognized early.

    04:53 So remember the symptoms they vary in type in severity from person to person.

    04:58 This is just kind of an example of how it could go but everybody's on the same page.

    05:03 What we're trying to reduce is HIV ever turning into AIDS.

    05:08 That's what we don't want for any patient.

    05:10 Because here's our goals start that antiretroviral treatment as early as possible because we want to decrease that HIV viral load.

    05:19 Now you understand why that's so important less virus around.

    05:22 Less hijacking of the cells are supposed to protect my body.

    05:26 That's a good deal.

    05:27 So our goal is always to get that HIV viral load as low as possible.

    05:33 We want to keep the patient as healthy as possible people with HIV or are living much fuller lives when we initially found out about this disease.

    05:41 So it is possible to lead a full and healthy life with adequate treatment.

    05:47 Now, we also in addition to that person's quality of life.

    05:50 We want to reduce the chances of that individual passing HIV on to other people.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture HIV: Stages and Treatment Goals (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Antiviral Medications (Nursing).

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. White blood cells
    2. Red blood cells
    3. Nerve cells
    4. Lymphoid cells
    1. DNA
    2. rRNA
    3. tRNA
    4. mRNA
    1. Stage 2
    2. Stage 1
    3. Stage 3
    4. Stage 4

    Author of lecture HIV: Stages and Treatment Goals (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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