Management of Patients With HIV Infection and AIDS
Although progress has been made in treating HIV infection and AIDS, the epidemic remains a critical public health issue in all communities across the country and around the world. Pre-vention, early detection, and ongoing treatment remain impor-tant aspects of care for people with HIV infection and AIDS. Nurses in all settings encounter people with this disease; thus, nurses need an understanding of the disorder, knowledge of the physical and psychological consequences associated with the diagnosis, and expert assessment and clinical management skills to provide optimal care for people with HIV infection and AIDS.
In 1987, just 6 years after the first cases of AIDS were re-ported, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first antiretroviral agent; in 1988 the first randomized con-trolled trial of primary prophylaxis of Pneumocystis carinii pneu-monia appeared in the literature; and in 1995 protease inhibitors joined the growing number of antiretroviral agents. Improved treatment of HIV and AIDS has resulted in increased survival times; in 1996, 1997, and 1998, age-adjusted death rates fell 29%, 48%, and 21%, respectively (Lee et al., 2001).