The primary goal of population health policies is to make improvements in population and personal health. These objectives are achieved by investing in health determinants via interventions and strategies that affect the determinants and ensuring the goals are achieved. Determinants are defined as primary factors that cause significant changes in the health world (Kindig, 2008). This paper elected a population health issue of interest as HIV. This is due to the decreasing disparities in for the HIV conditions and evolution in our disease epidemiology understanding. The primary determinants focused on in this paper are individual behavior, social environment, physical environment genetics and access to health care (KINDIG, 2007).
Individual’s behavior, for example, drug-injection practice, risky behavior, and unprotected sex are the leading cause of HIV acquisition and transmission. Sharing of injection materials during drug acquisition either for leisure or desire can also lead to HIV spread.
Although the individual behavior is one of the leading causes of HIV, social environment such as conditions in which people form relationships, grow, live, work, socialize is the primary factor that leads to HIV. Influence people receive from their peers and those around them can cause behaviors that in turn lead to HIV spread. According to CDC (2017), HIV transmission is done mainly by unsafe sex or syringes and needle sharing.
African American race is the most affected with the rate of HIV diagnosis in different states including Georgia, Alabama and Florida was 73.7 per 100,000, as compared to 8.8 per 100,000 among the white people in 2011. In 2014, blacks still had a higher percentage of 54 among the HIV diagnoses in the states. The black females infected in 2013 were 14.5 times those of white females in Atlanta (AIDSVu, 2017). Atlanta has specific zip codes that represent the areas that are mostly affected by HIV. And in these, more than 3500 people in these areas are infected by HIV (AIDSVu, 2017). Among these, the number of females is 1300 in 100000 people.
The physical environment concerning poverty, homelessness, powerlessness, sexual and physical abuse, lack of education and lack of social support can lead to HIV. For instance, debt may be a cause of helplessness especially for women in relationships leading to low self-esteem. Black women in Atlanta are affected by poverty with no transport, no food, health care and good housing, leading them to make money from prostitution or drug usage, a high HIV risk (Ivy, Miles, & Paz-Bailey, 2014).
Genetics are also termed as determinants of HIV progression, mother to child transmission and HIV susceptibility. The people that impact adaptive an innate immune are the leading causes of the virus infectivity (Castel, Magnus, & Greenberg, 2015).
Lack of access to health care increases HIV spread as people never know their status, which in turn leads to transmission of the virus. Lack of health care access denies people knowledge on how to prevent acquisition and transmission of HIV. Antiretroviral therapy reduces morbidity and mortality due to the services given to the people infected with HIV (Power, Hows& Jakobsen, 2018). However, this is not accessible to the target population effectively.
The determinants that are most impactful to HIV are individual and social environments. Many people are influenced by the people they live, work, grow, relate with. For example, drug abuse and sexual behavior is mainly caused by pressure from the surrounding and trying to copy what other people do. There is also a lot of peer pressure among the youths in the current world leading to irresponsible behavior.
Nowadays, HIV is a disease that affects all races, income levels, sexes, income levels and ages. According to Edwards (2016), 86% of women with HIV got it through sexual behavior while 12% acquired HIV virus from drug injection. WHO shows that women are more infected with 49% coverage. The epidemiology diversity is vital as it targets the help needed in slowing the acquisition and transmission of HIV and treatment and diagnosis of the same. It helps to discover how many individuals are affected by HIV, how many are receiving care, how many have fallen out of the medical care and how many are yet to get care.
This data also enables the division of resources to HIV patients depending on the numbers in a particular area. It allows planning for continued medical care to all the affected patients, find out barriers and facilitators to getting medical care. This data helps in the study of the primary population health determinants that affect HIV hence device appropriate methods to fight the disease (Castel, Magnus & Greenberg, 2015).In conclusion, determinants are essential as they help policymakers set priorities regarding investments and at the same time monitor health in the population.