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HIV: Drug Treatment - Term Paper Example

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The outbreak of HIV was evidently the most crucial point in history where nurses contributed greatly to public health, especially in regions where the disease has been highly endemic…
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HIV: Drug Treatment
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Download file to see previous pages The present data point out that intensified AIDS awareness and preventive measures have played a significant role in reducing the number of AIDS deaths and new infections. This paper will evaluate the HIV drug treatment used in the past and the new drug treatments, and how these improvements have altered the role of nurses in health care settings. Past HIV Drug Treatment The first antiviral drug zidovudine (ZDV; AZT) for the prevention of HIV replication was approved by US Food and Drug Administration in 1986. Scientists argued that this drug would prevent HIV replication by restraining the activity of the reverse transcriptase enzyme. During the early 1990s, a new class of anti-HIV drugs called the non-nucleoside analog reverse transcriptase inhibitors was invented. The development of a new class of antiviral drugs called protease inhibitors was the next step in the HIV drug invention. This class of drugs was entirely different from the reverse transcriptase inhibitors as its function was to prevent an already infected cell from producing more copies of HIV rather than to avert infection of a host cell. In mid 1980s, the nurses had a series of issues to resolve in the prevention and intervention of HIV primarily because of the unavailability of effective medicines and lack of HIV awareness. The dreadfulness and incurability of the disease had also mentally affected the infected individuals. Therefore, the nurses could not effectively deliver a quality care to individuals with HIV infection. During the period between 1986 and 1995, “monotherapy” was the most widely used standard antiretroviral therapy for HIV infected individuals and this treatment method was based on a single drug. In this period, it was scientifically proven that the AIDS symptoms were the result of a slow “war of attrition” between HIV and the host immune system but not the result of a sudden resurgence of a latent virus. According to the concept of multidrug resistance, if an organism has developed a resistance capacity to one drug, it can also be resistant to same class of all other drugs or to a number of various drugs. As per this perspective, the monotherapy became ineffective to AIDS because HIV could quickly develop resistance to such medications. In response to this situation, scientists expanded the number of distinct classes of antivirus medications and this practice led to a shift from monotherapy to combination therapy, in which drugs from two or more classes are applied simultaneously. The combination therapy produced dramatic effects in HIV treatment since the method was capable of suffocating mutated forms of HIV before they spread. The combinations of nucleoside analog drugs, the non-nucleoside analog drugs, and the protease inhibitors are referred to as highly active antiretroviral therapy or HAART. This therapy was widely used by physicians because convincing evidences had come out; they proved that specific combinations of one protease inhibitor and other drugs can have remarkable effects including reduction in the amount of viruses in the blood, enhancement in the number of CD4+ cells, improved health, and minimized chances of new mutations that might lead to the development of drug-resistant strains of HIV. By the beginning of 1997, the combination the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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