HIV/AIDS prevalence in Louisiana | Homework Market Help

Public/community health problem analysis
Introduction
Public health is mainly concerned with aIDressing the potential threats that affect the health depending on the analysis of the health of a particular population (Finkel, 2011). The main objective of public health is to adopt appropriate interventions that are aimed at improving the health and quality of life by using preventive and treatment strategies. This paper conducts a public health problem analysis in the state of Louisiana basing on a disease group, especially AIDS. Louisiana is considered the least healthy in the United States. In aIDition, it is one of the poorest states in the US (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). The core health problems that the faces the state of Louisiana include high prevalence of HIV/AIDs, increasing costs of healthcare for the elderly for those under the Medicaid program and the escalating costs associated with health insurance. This paper identifies and describes the resources that are currently available in the state of Louisiana that are used for offering services to aIDress the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the state of Louisiana. The paper also identifies and discusses the barriers to solving the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Louisiana in relation to the services required, access, communication challenges, and inter-agency scope of delivery care, budgetary issues and politics. Basing on the analysis, the paper shall provide recommendations to solve the high prevalence of HIV/AIDs in the state of Louisiana.
HIV/AIDS prevalence in Louisiana
Louisiana is one of the states in the country that has faces serious HIV/AIDS problem. During 2003, the state was ranked at 6th position in the US in terms of the prevalence of HIV/HIV/AIDS per 100,000 populations. The state also ranked at position 11 on the basis of the reported cases of HIV/AIDS according to the statistics provided by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program, 2011). Despite the fact that the federal government is allocating funds to assist people with HIV/AIDS to live for long and engage in productive life, the prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS in the country is increasing at a rate of approximately 40,000 new cases on an annual basis. The cities in the state that have highest prevalence rates in state include Baton Rouge having 30.1 cases per 100,000; New Orleans having 26.4 cases per 100,000 individuals. As of 2006, the total number of people living with HIV in Louisiana was approximately 7462, while people living with AIDS were approximately 8074. The HIV/AIDS problem in Louisiana will continue posing significant impacts on the state of Louisiana in the future; this is mainly to the high life costs for an individual suffering from AIDS, which is over USD 100,000 and mainly paid by the government (Calhoun, 2011). Swelling HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the state will increase the medical costs required to treat and take care of HIV/AIDS patients to an estimated amount of USD 120 million. The cumulative deaths associated with HIV/AIDS in the state of Louisiana as of December 2010 was 12, 755. Reported cases of people living with HIV/AIDS in the state, out of which 55 percent were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Heterosexual contact is the most common mode of transmission among women followed by drug injection. Among men, the most common mode of HIV/AIDS transmission was through heterosexual intercourse followed by heterosexual intercourse (Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program, 2011).
Once AIDS has been contracted, the HIV has the potential of causing AIDS, which is mostly transmitted through sexual intercourse and drug use injections. It is vital to note that HIV/AIDS also makes a significant contribution towards the death rates in the state. Owing to the fact that the disease has no cure, the only effective approach in aIDressing its prevalence in the state is to adopt preventive strategies (Finkel, 2011).
The federal government allocates the state of Louisiana a minimum of USD 7 million on an annual basis to facilitate testing programs, public awareness campaigns and testing of HIV. A different program is allocated funds to engage in the prevention of HIV/AIDS in learning institutions. Many lessons undertaken in school focus more in the use of abstinence as a means to prevent the contraction of HIV and other diseases that are sexually transmitted. An extra USD 2.6 million in form of federal funding is allocated towards the abstinence-only-until marriage programs. The funds for aIDressing the HIV/AIDS problem are mostly issued under the Governor’s Program on abstinence (Calhoun, 2011).
Resources that are currently available to aIDress the HIV/AIDS problem in Louisiana
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention allocates funds at the state and local health departments and community based agencies in order to fund HIV/AIDS counseling and testing programs, fostering public awareness campaigns, education programs and surveillance programs (Bernard, 2011). The following are some of the programs under the state of Louisiana to aIDress the HIV/AIDS problem.
i. Louisiana HIV/AIDS program (HAP)
The main objective of the Louisiana HAP is to prevent the transmission of HIV/AIDS and ensuring availability and accessibility if the high quality medical and social services for people that have contracted HIV/AIDS. HAP also engages in the education and monitoring of the prevalent tends and administers services that client-focused and based on the principles of confidentiality (Calhoun, 2011). The HAP program mainly receives its funding from the CDC, HRSA and state funding to organize its evaluation and monitoring activities relating to the administration of care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS. The core activities undertaken by Louisiana HAP include surveillance, evaluation and prevention. The prevention activities of the program derive its funding from the CDC and private establishments found in the state of Louisiana (Bernard, 2011). Prevention activities are administered through community based organization, community planning, HIV counseling, testing and partner counseling and used educational materials distributed to the various learning institutions. The services activities undertaken by the HAP program include AIDS Drug Assistance Program, which offers aid to persons who are below the 300 percent of the federal poverty level to acquire antiretroviral drugs and a number of diagnostic lab services. The HAP program also offers services related to Early Intervention and Primary Medical Care, HIV Core and Support Services and Home and Community Based Care (Finkel, 2011).
ii. HIV, STD, and Unintended Pregnancy Prevention Program
The state of Louisiana is embarking on increasing the number of learning institutions that deliver HIV prevention programs that can be included in the curriculum or as a supplementary program. This program is mainly implemented in order to meet the requirements if a particular ethnic minority youths that are at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS such African Americans, Hispanics and American Indians (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). This is achieved by offering supplementary materials aimed at reflecting the experiences of the youth, ensuring access to health services, social services that are not established within the school property. Some of the core activities ensuring that these objectives are achieved are through collaborative effort with the state and local health and education departments to identify the high-risk areas in the state and the development of community training aimed at increasing HIV/AIDS awareness across the state (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).
The second objective of this program is to increase the number of learning institutions that offer guardians and families access to health information in order to enhance the parent and family knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS and STDs prevention and avoiding teen pregnancy. This administered through offering training and technical aid to facilitate the development and execution of health advisory councils within the learning institutions. This is also attained through a joint effort with other programs like Tobacco control, which lay emphasis on ensuring healthy learning institutions. The HIV, STD and Unintended Pregnancy prevention program receives its funding from the CDC through the Louisiana department of Education in order to undertake surveys to evaluate the youth risk behavior that predisposes them to HIV and the implementation of effective policies and practices aimed at avoiding, preventing and reducing the sexual risk behavior that cause HIV/AIDS among the students (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).
iii. Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA)
HOPWA program offers housing aid and associated supportive services for people that living with HIV/AIDS and their families. 90 percent of the financing for this program is derived from the formula grants, which is administered to qualified states that have high prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS. The city of New Orleans was first qualified for the HOPWA funds during 1992 while Louisiana as a whole qualified for the funding during 1994 (Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program, 2011). Through HOPWA program, the state of Louisiana gets housing aid funds that are distributed to regions. The HOPWA funds are usually distributed to the qualified health facilities hosting people with HIV/HIV/HIV/AIDS. The funds are also distributed via community based organizations that specialize in the provisions supportive services for people living with HIV/AIDS. The monies awarded to the facilities can be deployed in diverse ways including capital improvements, treatment of HIV/HIV/AIDS patients and expansion. The HOPWA monies are also used for offering rental assistance and other living expenses to individuals with HIV/HIV/AIDS. People who are eligible to make use of the HOPWA funds program include the residents of the state of Louisiana who are HIV positive and are 80 percent below the median area income (Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program, 2011).
iv. AIDS Education and Training Centers Program (AETC)
The AETC program in the state of Louisiana offers educational training, consultancy and information to the HIV/AIDS healthcare providers in the state. The AETC has the main objective of meeting the goals and objectives of the National HIV/AIDS strategy. The program is administered under the Health Resources and Services Administration with finances from the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program that presently comprises of 11 regional AETCs and 5 National AETC. In the state of Louisiana, the objective of the AETC program is to enhance the quality of life of the patients having HIV/AIDS by providing high end education and training for the healthcare providers dealing with HIV/AIDS. AETC makes use of diverse disciplines and training programs. The training implemented under the AETC program primarily targets minority populations, people in rural areas, people without homes, migrant health centers and detained persons (AIDS Education & Training Centers National Resource Center, 2011). AETC lays emphasis on offering training to various medical personnel including nurses on practice, physicians and pharmacists. In the state of Louisiana, the AETC works in partnership with community and public healthcare centers, agencies that are serving minority communities and academic healthcare learning institutions. People having HIV/AIDS can access the services of the AETC program through visiting the clinical sites that are tailored to meet their regional needs (AIDS Education & Training Centers National Resource Center, 2011).
The AETC has the primary goal of decreasing the number of HIV/AIDS infections in the state of Louisiana by offering training programs that are aimed at aIDressing transmission and prevalence of HIV/HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis risk reduction activities. The program also aims at distributing materials that outline the standards for testing HIV/HIV/AIDS. The AETC also aims at increasing access to health care and enhance the quality outcomes for persons who have contracted HIV/AIDS. The centers offer clinical training regarding HIV/AIDS care, diagnosis, recognition and evaluation of people infected with HIV/AIDS. AETC program also aims at eliminating health disparities and inequalities associated with HIV/AIDS (AIDS Education & Training Centers National Resource Center, 2011).
Barriers towards the effective solution of HIV/AIDS problem in Louisiana
The problem of HIV/AIDS in Louisiana is more prevalent among the African American community, whereby the high-risk heterosexual activity is one of the core exposure categories. It is estimated that 75 percent of the new HIV/AIDS infections in state are from the African American community.
A number of people criticize the HIV/AIDS public policy in the United States citing that the mainstream media and federal agencies like the CDC perceived the AIDS problem as a reserve for only gay men; this probably resulted to a perception by the African American population viewing the disease as not a problem that is likely to affect them (Calhoun, 2011). The decline of the prevalence of AIDS among the white population resulted to a decrease in public attention from the mainstream media, financers and the federal agencies, which in turn resulted to an increase of HIV/AIDS prevalence rates among the African-American population. The situation is worsened by the fact black media and religious institutions have shown minimal involvement in increasing HIV/AIDS awareness, this is possibly due to the social stigma associated with homosexuality and HIV/AIDS (Finkel, 2011).
Another potential barrier is that Sexuality Education in the state of Louisiana is offered only after the 5th grade, although it is not mandatory for learning institutions to provide such courses. Most conservative religious groups in the state are against the deployment of comprehensive sexuality education in most parts. Opponents of sexuality education claim that teaching other techniques apart from abstinence is likely to promote sexual activity, which is likely to increase the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Those arguing for comprehensive sexuality education in the state assert that diverse risk-reduction strategies should be taught including the use of condoms and abstaining. These groups are of the view that the use of male condoms plays an important role in reducing the risk of contracting and spreading STDs like gonorrhea and syphilis, which increases the susceptibility of contracting HIV/AIDS. In this context, Louisiana has the highest rates of gonorrhea in the United States and rates second in Chlamydia and 3rd in Syphilis. In order to reduce the prevalence rates of HIV/AIDS in the state, the government has embarked in the distribution of male condoms from 1993, increasing their availability in social places like bars, liquor stores and restaurants (Calhoun, 2011).
Recommendations
In order to curb the increasing prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Louisiana, it is important for the state and federal authority promote the access to comprehensive care and treatment of people with HIV/AIDS, which can be achieved by laying emphasis on the ADAP program, waiver of the Medicaid Program in the state and using a patient assistance programs.
The second recommendation is to foster access to high quality healthcare and associated support services for people with HIV/AIDS. This can be achieved through elimination of geographic disparities to facilitate transportation access to health care facilities.
The third recommendation is to increase testing, care and foster adherence towards treatment in order to eliminate stigma associated with HIV, which is a potential barrier that limits people from being tested and seeking health care support services after a person has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. AIDressing this barrier requires engaging religious communities in treatment campaigns and testing and fostering adequate support for faith based strategies from the federal and state government.

References
AIDS Education & Training Centers National Resource Center. (2011). Supporting HIV education for Health Care Proffessionals. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://www.aids-etc.org/
Bernard, T. (2011). Essentials of Public Health. New York: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
Calhoun, M. (2011). Louisiana Almanac 2008-2009. New York: Pelican Publishing. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). HIV, STD, and Unintended Pregnancy Prevention. Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/states/la.htm#1
Finkel, M. L. (2011). Public Health in the 21st Century, Volume 1. New York: ABC-CLIO.
Louisiana HIV/AIDS Program. (2011). What is the Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA)? . Retrieved November 10, 2011, from http://www.hiv411.org/page.php?pID=28

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