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The HIV infection has been a major communicable disease that has been costing the Jacksonville community many young and energetic people, the old, and children because of its high widespread rate. This has lead to many programs coming up to assist those who are infected and living with HIV/AIDS and also the rest of the community. AIDS was first reported in the United States in 1981 and since then it has become a worldwide epidemic.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes AIDS. HIV usually destroys the ability of the body to fight infections and certain diseases gradually by killing and impairing cells of the immune system. HIV makes the sufferers to be susceptible to opportunistic infections. The number of people in the United States suffering from the HIV/AIDS has been on the rise and the Center for Disease Control estimated that the number had risen from 600,000 to 900,000. This number has also risen in Jacksonville and as discussed in the previous section the area was reported as one of the notable areas with many cases of HIV/AIDS in the United States.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has mandated that every community plan for HIV/AIDS prevention to curb the spread of the disease. The Jacksonville area has various HIV health services, for instance the department of Health funds the Ryan White HIV care Consortia. This consortium advises the department of health so that it can plan and prioritize the services that are needed by persons infected with HIV/AIDS. The consortia also provides a forum for the infected and affected people in the community, the service providers, community based organizations and other individuals who are interested. This shows that the Jacksonville community has taken the initiative to reduce the rate of infection of HIV/AIDS. The consortium assists in planning, developing and delivering an all-inclusive outpatient health and support services which aid individuals with the HIV/AIDS infection in the area. The HIV care consortia membership is usually open so that all the members who are interested can participate and thus affordability is afforder. This consortium holds meetings at 5 p.m. every third Wednesday in Jacksonville Florida Duval Health Department. The Ryan White HIV/AIDS program mission is to care for the underserved. This program usually works with the local community in providing HIV related services and is widely known because it does not only cover Jacksonville Florida. The program mostly assists those who are unable to access enough health care coverage or those who do not have enough financial resources for dealing with HIV/AIDS.
The program seeks to cover care that is not covered by the other sources. Most of the funds from the consortia usually support primary medical care and important support services. Very little financial support is offered for technical assistance, innovative model research and clinical training. There are a number of programs under the Ryan White legislation which are meant for meeting the needs for different communities and populations who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The number of programs is divided into four parts; the first part extends emergency assistance to urban areas and changing grant areas which are affected severely affected by the HIV/AIDS. The second part of the program provides financial assistance to all the fifty states while the third part oversees that an all inclusive primary health care is provided to people living with HIV/AIDS in an outpatient setting.
The fourth part provides care that is family centered and caters for the ambulatory and outpatient care for children, women, babies and young people living with the HIV infection. The last part of this program funds various projects such as the special projects of national significance program which extends financial support for models of care and support which are innovative, this helps in development of delivery systems for HIV care which are effective. The second program under this part is the AIDS education and training center program which support a network of eleven regional centers and also countrywide centers which conduct education and training programs for health care personnel's who treat people living with HIV/AIDS. The third program is the dental program which offers extra funding for oral health care for people living with HIV/AIDs. The fourth program is the minority AIDS Initiative which release funds for evaluating and addressing the inconsistent impact of the infection on African and other minorities.
According to data released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the HIV infection rate is increasing fast among the minority groups and was termed as the leading killer of the African-American males. According to the CDC, AIDS is six times higher in the African American males and three times higher among the Hispanics as compared to the whites. It is for this reason that the Ryan hite program sees the need for setting aside some funds for addressing this issue. The levels of protection offered by the program ensure that people suffering from the HIV infection do not lack anything. Most of the people suffering from HIV are usually stigmatized in their places of work and this leads to them dropping their jobs and thus have financial problems. One of the major weaknesses of this program is that it does not address fully ways of preventing this infection. It has always been said that prevention is better than cure and in applying this to the problem of the HIV infection in Jacksonville, the program should concentrate on educating both the infected and those who are not infected.
Most people don't usually take the disease seriously especially after the invention of ARVs, they usually see the bad side of the disease after becoming infected, for this reason the program should educate people on ways and measures of preventing themselves from acquiring the infection. The levels of prevention should be community based. For instance in the Jacksonville community the program should ensure that regular meetings are held in the area and also counselors should move door to door advising people on the adverse effects of the disease and ways of avoiding it. The programs is eligible because it has assisted the people infected very much, it is one of the recognized programs which takes adequate care for people suffering from HIV AIDS by offering them financial support and support. They do not pay for any support or services and everyone is eligible for the program services. Paying for this service would limit the number of sufferers accessing the program because they would be limited by financial constrains. People do not fear receiving services from this program because they are not usually discriminated. The program is based in local centers hence accessibility is enhanced.
The UF rainbow center is another program in Jacksonville that provides all encompassing and confidential care to people suffering from the HIV/AIDS. The UF rainbow center is also known as UF Center for HIV/AIDS Research, Education and Service (UF CARES). The UF CARES is a division of the University of Florida College of medicine in Jacksonville. The program has adopted a multidisciplinary approach which entails the program striving to provide every aspect of care to the patient from primary care to subspecialty services. The program has partnered with other thirty one agencies so as to extend and strengthen its capability to meet patients' needs. There are various services that the program seeks to meet, for instance children, women, infants and families who are HIV infected or exposed are offered comprehensive family centered medical care. The program also offers HIV testing and counseling, risk reduction and outreach health education, evaluations of nutrition and diets, managing social cases, assisting in childcare at the clinic and also specialize in high risk pregnancies.
They also offer referral services for dental and other services and evaluate the psychology and psychotherapy of the sufferers. They assist in transportation of the infected people and offer individual assistance incase additional assistance is needed. They ensure that there are support groups and adherence programs for adults and the youths. They also offer legal aid in case the sufferers have law suits, for instance some employers usually sack their employees upon realizing that they are infected, this may lead to a law suit and this is where the UF comes in to assist the sufferer. All these services by the UF are accessible and eligible to all the community members suffering from the infection.
This is enhanced by availing even transport to far places. All members can call the UF care rainbow center to make an appointment which makes it easy for the program to observe confidentiality. The center also has regular clinic hours from Monday to Friday for seven hours. The physicians are usually able to attend to the people on the same day and the center ensures that there is physician during the weekends and after office hours. This ensures that the needs of the people suffering from AIDS are catered for. The UF center is all inclusive and focuses on the family in HIV and AIDS programs in Jacksonville. The center provides all the three types of care, they are able to provide primary, secondary and tertiary care for individuals and families who are infected by HIV/AIDS. The center collaborates and partners with children medical services so as to increase its efficiency in extending services to people with HIV. The center is able to provide basic care because it has access to national research protocols which enable patients to fully participate in various clinical trials and studies.
UF CARE also has an educational site for educating and training on the AIDS epidemic. This site has a wide coverage which makes UF CARE very effective in catering for the needs of a larger society and also enables the center to provide quality care. The website provides and all round view of the center. The center has made education its mission which has increased its eligibility. Education is always the most important approach in tackling HIV/AIDS; it gives power to individuals and endows them with knowledge and awareness of HIV which eventually leads to a knowledge base that is strong and from which the people suffering from HIV can make and draw confident decisions. The center educates health care professionals so that they can care for the people with HIV in a proper way and also counsel them on eating habits so that their vulnerability to opportunistic infections is reduced. The center educates families on how to take care of family members with HIV. The community in general is also educated on preventive measures and how to stay healthy if one is infected.
This is a very effective way because by educating the community, preventive and cautionary measures are taken and people's awareness of the risk factors of the disease is increased. The centers aim is to decrease the rate of transmission of HIV in Jacksonville and also taking good care of those already infected such that they do not lack anything. The education provided by the center through their website and center can be grouped in five major categories. One of the categories concentrates on educating patients by targeting health education, risk reduction behavior and adhering to the medicines given; the second type of education is outreach education through community organization; the third is physical training through a preceptor ship program; the fourth type is educating and training nurses and other health care professionals.
The last type of education is meant for delivery and birthing staff so that they can prevent transmission of perinatal transmission. The center also undertakes researches which help in improving the quality of life for people affected and infected by HIV. Most of the research is done by study participants who work hard so that the quality of life of the people affected is increased while working towards establishing a cure. There are no factors that hinder people suffering from obtaining services, if anything the education offered by the Center is all encompassing because it even covers on diagnosis and resource availability of the center. The UF CARES is supported financially by the National Institute of Health. The center has done a tremendous job in fighting the spread of HIV AIDS and taking care of those already infected. The center has conducted more than 50 clinical research trials which show their dedication to preventing and eradicating AIDS. The center is also supported by the clinical trial group in their endeavors to find a cure for the killer disease. The center also participates in clinical studies which are supported by companies; they are thus able to participate in studies for obtaining antibiotics and vaccines. The center research team also seeks to perk up children and women living with HIV health by coming up with treatment options which are better.
The UF CARES and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program have put up a good fight against the pandemic of HIV. The referrals used by the two agencies are eligible and most people in the community have benefited from the resources that they have received from these two agencies. People suffering from HIV don't have to apply for the services for the two agencies; the services are open for anyone and all they have to do is visit the centers so that they can be given medicine and on top of this be guided on how to stay healthy so that they may live longer. The affordability of such services is thus increased and this enables people with HIV to live longer. Paying for the services would lead to a higher death rate of people with AIDS because their affordability would be decreased. The two agencies have adopted different approaches in fighting HIV/AIDS and by doing this progress has been made in reducing the spread rate of HIV. The two also have different factors which attract the community members and the people suffering from the disease.
By attracting the members of the community awareness of the disease is increased and also those diagnosed with the disease are counseled and given medication. The services offered by the two agencies do not allow any chance of stigma hence people suffering from HIV are usually comfortable and confident in seeking medical health and therapy. Most of these services are also not set specifically for people with HIV; they are general and many and help a lot of people. This also serves to increase the confidence of the people with the HIV/AIDS. Being infected with HIV is not usually a condition for obtaining the services of these agencies and this also increases community members' confidence to access treatment and to be tested.