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All aspects of the healthcare community play a collaborative and multidisciplinary role in caring for HIV patients. As a nurse practitioner, a comprehensive health assessment including a physical examination should be conducted initially to determine the proper screening and testing. Serology diagnostic screening includes HIV antibody testing. If positive, CD4-T cell count, and viral load by PCR are then collected (Orsega, 2015). Although there is no cure, HIV can be well controlled with ART and patients who receive early and consistent treatment are able to live full and productive lives. The role of a family nurse practitioner (FNP) is to provide educational support, management, and guidance for patients living with HIV as well as to provide preventative measures to those individuals at risk for the disease. According to the CDC, patients who receive treatment and achieve an undetectable viral load have little to no risk of spreading the infection to other individuals (CDC, 2017). As such, it is the role of a FNP to appropriately screen patients at risk for the disease, make early diagnoses, and connect patient to treatment early in the disease process to help curb the HIV public health crisis. Furthermore, it is the role of the FNP, as a primary care provider, to educate at-risk patients of prevention measures including but not limited to safe sex practices, drug rehabilitation, and options for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreEP) (CDC, 2017).


HIV can affect any sex, ethnicity, and age group. With proper medical management and individualized care, HIV can be controlled. With appropriate patient education, patients can make healthy choices and prevent disease. Additionally, once disease is identified, appropriate treatment is essential for the prevention of spread throughout the population. People with HIV can live full and high quality lives, but it takes a collaborative team approach to provide compassionate and effective care.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). HIV basics. Retrieved  from https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/

Engard, B. (2017). What is the epidemiologic triangle?. Retrieved from  http://online.river.edu/epidemiologic-triangle/

Orsega, S. (2015). Adult HIV infection treatment update 2014: An approach to HIV infection  management and antiretroviral treatment. Journal For Nurse Practitioners, 11(1), 95.  doi:10.1016/j.nurpra.2014.10.034

Wade, P. (2015). Chapter 20: Nursing care of patients with HIV disease and AIDS.  Understanding Medical Surgical Nursing, 5th ed (pp. 362-385). Philadelphia,  Pennsylvania: F.A. Davis Company.

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