Facts About AIDS


Course Outline  

Chapter 1.          Human Immunodeficiency Virus       

Chapter 2.          HIV Terms to Know           

Chapter 3.          Understanding HIV

Chapter 4.          Epidemiology of HIV Infection

Chapter 5.          Tests for HIV

Chapter 6.          Serologic Testing for HIV Infection

Chapter 7.          From HIV to AIDS

Chapter 8.          Riddle of AIDS

Chapter 9.          AIDS Taking its Toll   

Chapter 10.        Case for Condoms

Chapter 11.        HIV and the Health-Care Worker

Chapter 12.        Protecting Yourself and the AIDS Patient

Chapter 13.        How You  Won’t Get AIDS

Chapter 14.        Prevention of HIV in Health-Care Settings

Chapter 15.        Risk to Health-Care Workers 

Chapter 16.        Disinfecting the Environment

Chapter 17.        Employer Responsibilities  

Chapter 18.        New Ways to Prevent and Treat AIDS 

Chapter 19.        Update on AIDS

Chapter 20.        First Person: Aftermath of a Needlestick Injury  

Chapter 21.        AIDS Resource Guide       

Chapter 22.        Appendix A: Managing Early HIV Infection   

Chapter 22.        Test Your Knowledge About HIV/AIDS                             

Learning Objectives

After completing this course, you’ll be able to:

Chapter 1: Human Immunodeficiency Virus

  1. Describe the genetic makeup of human immunodeficiency virus and explain the mode of transmission of HIV infection.
  2. List 3 primary types of contact that can result in transmission of HIV, and distinguish these from other less efficient modes of transmission of HIV.
  3. Explain why casual contact will not result in transmission of HIV infection.

Chapter 2: HIV Terms to Know

  1. Define various terms related to HIV and AIDS, such as AIDS, body fluids, CD4 cells, exposure-prone invasive procedures, universal precautions, window period, etc.

Chapter 3: Understanding HIV

  1. Discuss some of the questions that a person infected with HIV may want to ask his or her healthcare provider.
  2. Discuss possible benefits and risks of talking about your HIV infection.
  3. List at least 6 helpful hints that may help an HIV-infected person stay well longer.
  4. Discuss the connection between HIV and tuberculosis, syphilis, mouth and eye problems, pap tests for women with HIV, and pregnancy.
  5. Discuss the implications of pregnancy with an HIV-infected woman, and formulate at least 7 questions that the woman may want to ask of her healthcare provider.

Chapter 4 : Epidemiology of HIV Infection

  1. Describe the risk of HIV infection in certain population groups, such as intravenous drug users, homosexuals, male and female heterosexual IDUs, women, and adolescents.
  2. Explain why intravenous drug users with unsafe sexual practices are at greatest risk of HIV infection.

Chapter 5: Tests for HIV

  1. Describe 3 primary tests for HIV infection detection, and explain the differences between the tests that measure the virus and those that measure the presence of antibodies to the virus in the blood.
  2. List 5 physical conditions or symptoms that are indicative of HIV presence.

Chapter 6: Serologic Testing for Infection

  1. Explain the sensitivity and specificity of EIA tests with Western blot for HIV infection.
  2. Describe 5 principles of a patient testing program.
  3. Provide an assessment of the risk of HIV infection from patients to healthcare workers and from healthcare workers to patients.
  4. Discuss the management of infected healthcare workers.

Chapter 7: From HIV to AIDS

  1. Explain how HIV infection progresses to AIDS, and describe physical symptoms and responses at each stage to the development of AIDS.
  2. List at least 10 infections indicative of AIDS, and list 8 cancers associated with AIDS.

Chapter 8: Riddle of AIDS

  1. Discuss the complexity of HIV and explain why the infection is so difficult to treat or cure.
  2. Distinguish between humoral immunity and cellular immunity.

Chapter 9: AIDS Taking Its Toll

  1. Discuss the mortality rates from AIDS in various population groups by age, by sex, by race and by sources of the disease.

Chapter 10: Case for Condoms

  1. Discuss the efficacy of condoms in preventing sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV.
  2. List at least 10 tips in the proper use of condoms to reduce the transmission of STDs.

Chapter 11: HIV and the Healthcare Worker

  1. Define informed consent.
  2. Debate the pros and cons of mandatory testing of all healthcare workers.
  3. Provide at least 4 arguments against banning an HIV-infected healthcare worker from the workplace.

Chapter 12: Protecting Yourself and the AIDS Patient

  1. Discuss the principles of contagion of HIV.
  2. Describe at least 5 precautions to take in the handling of needles.
  3. Discuss with an AIDS patient infections to avoid, handling pets, childhood diseases and handling food.

Chapter 13: How You Won’t get AIDS

  1. Discuss nine misconceptions about the transmission of AIDS virus.

Chapter 14: Prevention of HIV in Healthcare Settings

  1. Define universal precautions and describe six measures a healthcare worker should take in following universal precautions.
  2. List body fluids to which universal precautions apply and other fluids to which universal precautions do not apply.
  3. Discuss three guidelines that a healthcare worker should use with protective barriers to prevent the transmission of HIV.
  4. Describe five guidelines to use in the selection of gloves.
  5. Describe five precautions to take for invasive procedures.
  6. Describe four precautions for people engaged in the practice of dentistry for prevention of transmission of HIV.
  7. Discuss precautions to take for healthcare workers in the areas of dialysis and those working in laboratories.

Chapter 15: Risks to Healthcare Workers

  1. Discuss the risk of HIV transmission for healthcare workers.

Chapter 16: Disinfecting the Environment

  1. Discuss the principles of sterilization and disinfection in healthcare settings.

Chapter 17: Employer Responsibilities

  1. Describe the classification of work activities into three categories of potential exposure and the requirement of personal protective equipment in each category of work.
  2. Provide examples of recommended personal protective equipment for worker protection against HIV and HBV transmission in pre-hospital settings.
  3. Discuss the management of healthcare workers who have been exposed to blood and other infectious body fluids, hepatitis B virus, human bites, and HIV.
  4. Describe reprocessing methods for equipment used in the pre-hospital setting using sterilization and various levels of disinfection.

Chapter 18: New Ways to Prevent and Treat AIDS

  1. Describe various new tests for detection of HIV approved by the FDA, namely Confide, Orasure Western blot, Coulter and Amplicor-HIV-1 Monitor Test.
  2. Describe five layers of overlapping safeguards that have made the risk of HIV transmission from blood transfusion almost nil.

Chapter 19: Update on AIDS

  1. Discuss the role of combination drug therapy in reducing AIDS-related deaths.
  2. Describe how protease inhibitors work.
  3. Discuss how viral load test can help in predicting the course of AIDS disease.
  4. Describe the progress made by researchers in developing a vaccine for AIDS.
  5. List some of the new drugs that are being developed to fight AIDS.

Chapter 21: AIDS Resource Guide

  1. List at least 12 resources available to an HIV/AIDS patient in seeking additional information and help.


Vijay Fadia  

     When this book was first published in 1993 the outlook on the prevention and treatment of AIDS was grim.  HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, had totally confounded the scientists; they had never encountered a virus that was so elusive and so impervious to drug treatment that most in the scientific and general community had given up any hope of finding a treatment, let alone a cure or vaccination, for the deadly disease. 

     You see, the virus has this nasty habit of replicating itself, not just a few copies here and there but billions of copies with the result that if a drug was found effective on one strain of virus it had no effect on a newer strain.  It was a cat-and-mouse game and the cat was tiring of the game.

     So were those infected with the disease which, in its relentless march towards AIDS, obliterates body’s defenses leaving the patient an easy prey to opportunistic diseases.

     The year was 1996 when everything changed.  The researchers had come up with a whole new class of drugs called protease inhibitors which when taken in combination with older drugs are effective in wiping out the last traces of the virus from the blood.  Such is the optimism in the research laboratories, medical offices and AIDS patients that one can almost say that a person has a better chance of getting run over by a truck than of dying from AIDS.  The death sentence has been stayed, probably indefinitely.  No one, however, believes that the last chapter in this saga of battle against AIDS has been written although everyone agrees that we have turned the corner on the disease.


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