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Activities of Daily Living

Activities of Daily Living

The ability of an individual to provide self-care or function independently is often referred to by the phrase “activities of daily living.” This phrase is often used to describe physical functioning, or those functions an individual performs daily for his or her own safety and health maintenance. In the early 1960s, Katz et al. described [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome

Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome

(AIDS) AIDS is a medical diagnosis by a physician of a set of symptoms or conditions based on specific criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These criteria include infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and either the presence of one or more defined AIDS indicator diseases or other indicators of [...]

July 28, 2011 More

HIV transmission

HIV can be transmitted through blood, semen (including pre-seminal fluid or “pre-cum”), vaginal fluid, or breast milk. The most common modes are: sexual intercourse (anal, vaginal, or oral sex) with an HIV-infected person; sharing needles, syringes, or injection equipment with an injecting drug user (IDU) infected with HIV; and from HIV-infected women to babies before [...]

July 28, 2011 More
HIV testing

HIV testing

The only way to determine for sure whether someone is infected is to be tested for HIV infection. Many people who are infected with HIV do not have any symptoms for many years. The tests commonly used detect antibodies produced by the body to fight HIV. Most people will develop detectable antibodies within 3 months [...]

July 28, 2011 More

State of the HIV/AIDs epidemic

Worldwide, the World Health Organization estimates that the number of people living with HIV/AIDS is rapidly approaching 50 million, of whom almost 50% are women. In several regions of the world, the proportion of women exceeds 50%. The United Nations AIDS (UNAIDS) program estimates that 5 million new HIV infections occurred in 2001, or approximately [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Preventing HIV transmission

Preventing HIV transmission

Abstaining from engagement in any behavior that carries risk of acquiring HIV (e.g., sexual intercourse or using and injecting drugs) is the most effective way to avoid HIV, but not always the most realistic. To minimize risk for those who choose to be sexually active, the CDC recommends the following: engage in sex that does [...]

July 28, 2011 More

Care and treatment

The field of HIV/AIDS care is advancing at a breathtaking speed. New developments are rapidily superseded by even newer data. Recommendations for antiretroviral treatment and alternative regimens continue to evolve as new medications are developed and additional data from clinical trials is presented. As a consequence, treatment protocols will not be described here in deference [...]

July 28, 2011 More

Social/Psychosocial challenges and needs

Many social/psychosocial issues, including homosexuality, drug use, mental illness, racism, homelessness, and poverty, are linked inextricably to the context of HIV/AIDS by association with the communities that it has heavily impacted, in addition to the clinical challenges of the disease itself and its toll on the health and well-being of those infected. For many women [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Acne

Acne

Acne vulgaris is a common disorder affecting the skin. It specifically involves the pilosebaceous unit, consisting of the hair follicle and sebaceous gland. The cause is multifactorial and the four major causal components are proliferation of the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, abnormal shedding of the cells lining the pores, androgen-induced sebum production, and inflammation. It primarily [...]

July 28, 2011 More

Acculturation

Acculturation has been defined as the process of cultural change that immigrants undergo when they enter in contact with a new, host culture. Immigrants bring their own cultural identity, language, values, beliefs, and behaviors, which might differ from those of the host culture. Although it is less common to acknowledge that the host culture can [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Access to Health Care

Access to Health Care

Access to health care has dominated the health policy scene for several decades. In the early 1990s, national legislation, “universal access” to health care, was introduced by President Clinton and the Congress as a way to provide health security for all Americans. Lively debates were generated and the topic commanded national attention. The effort, although [...]

July 28, 2011 More

Personal/Family barriers

Acceptability Services must be desirable and viewed as acceptable to the patient/client and family. Physical setting, demeanor, and scope of services all must be acceptable. Language/Literacy Patients/clients experience significant barriers when important information is complex and not in their native language. Complicated systems such as application for Medicaid present perceived and real barriers in literacy [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Financial barriers

Financial barriers

Insurance Coverage Insurance coverage, tied to employment, is the admission ticket to health services. While there are several government programs to provide services, substantial numbers fall into the “near poor” and uninsured or underinsured groups. Patients/clients are reluctant to seek care without insurance and providers/facilities are reluctant to provide care since services may not be [...]

July 28, 2011 More

Structural barriers

Availability Access to health service, in particular, a regular source of medical care, is contingent upon services being available where and when needed by the service population. Barriers based on availability, for example, occur when services are located only in more urban areas creating barriers for remote rural populations or during hours when those working [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Abortion

Abortion

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.18 million legal abortions were performed in the United States in 1997. The risk of death from legal abortion is 0.4 per 100,000 induced abortions. Most abortions are performed surgically by vacuum curettage. Medical abortion (abortion induced by the use of medications) has recently become [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Technique for surgical abortion

Technique for surgical abortion

Surgical abortion can be performed in an office or hospital setting. The success rate of surgical termination is 99%. It is usually a single-step process that requires one visit to the practitioner. In early pregnancy (less than 7 weeks), a small flexible plastic cannula (5-6 mm) is inserted into the uterus under sterile conditions. Plastic [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Medical abortions.

Medical abortions.

Medical termination requires the close observation of a practitioner. It usually requires two or more visits, and there is a potential need for emergency intervention during the process. Finally, it requires close follow-up to ensure that the process of abortion is complete. The earlier the gestational age is, the higher the complete abortion rate. The [...]

July 28, 2011 More
Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain

Abdominal pain is the most common gastrointestinal symptom for which medical evaluation is sought. It is a nonspecific, unpleasant sensation that can be associated with a multitude of conditions originating both within and outside the abdomen. Causes may range from common normal physiologic processes to life-threatening emergencies. There are many factors that contribute to the [...]

July 27, 2011 More
Chronic abdominal pain

Chronic abdominal pain

Chronic abdominal pain occurring over a period of weeks to months in the absence of any alarm signs or symptoms may be less urgent, allowing for a more systematic evaluation. Chronic intermittent pain may, at times, be particularly difficult to diagnose whereas chronic persistent pain usually has an identifiable cause, such as chronic pancreatitis, disseminated [...]

July 27, 2011 More