1. Background Information:
The case study I chose to critically analyse was 'Living with HIV'.
This case study presents a 28 year old woman called Alice that became infected with HIV due to an ‘unpleasant experience’ in Africa when she was 19.
Alice was first diagnosed with HIV on her return home from Africa and she was given contact to the local health advisor for further information and support.
She describes this as being a “stressful and traumatic experience”.
Since her diagnoses she has been monitored by genito-urinary medicine clinic but hasn’t needed to be put on medication because she her condition was never that bad.
Her family, friends and husband knew about her infection, however she felt isolated because she was afraid of discrimination and prejudice.
She also feels vulnerable because she feels if she was honest about her infection people could use it against her. She describes to be stuck in the job she does because of the HIV non-disclosure and non-discrimination policy and the pension that comes with it, which she doesn’t know she would get in another job.
To get a better understanding of what her infection HIV is a human immunodeficiency virus that can threaten Alice's life because it weakens the immune system which leads to potential infections to prosper.
HIV can turn into AIDS if her condition worsens.
2. Description of Presenting Issues:
Describe any issues that are relevant to this patient from a health psychology perspective. You will continue to determine which of these issues you will focus on for the remainder of your critical writing and why.
E.g. Within a given case you may identify that stress and coping is an issue, and that treatment adherence and the provision of communication are also issues.
State these observations and why you have noted these observations (remember to ALWAYS reference any theoretical or conceptual statements). Then go onto say the focus of your writing will be around just one or two of these issues, e.g. stress and coping, also providing references to stress and coping research that has been conducted with this patient population.
Use around 200 words for this section of your work.
The Bio-medical model focuses purely on the physical processes and changes that occur when a disease is contracted such as changes in pathology and biochemistry, and essentially works to correct these imbalances thereby restoring the body to normal working order.
While there can be no question as to the massive amount of benefit that has come from the Bio-medical model, for example many illnesses that would now be considered just an invonvienience such as flu, would be deadly without Bio-medical advancements, it also can't be ignored that because of this model, what is defined as being 'unwell' or 'ill' is limited to physical symptoms tanks to the biomedical model we have highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), which uses a combination of anti-retroviral drugs to suppresses HIV cell replication as much as possible.
However HAART only controls the virus, it does not cure it, and strict regiments such as numerous pills a day as strict time intervals are necessary for it to even be effective.
And considered one of the best therapies for HIV manegement today.
Ahmed (2005) looked into 8 different herbal drugs and found that only 3 of them had any positive effect.
Alice is practically unaffected, however when looking into Alice as an individual we can see that there
The patient within this case study goes through alot of stress due to having to cope with living with HIV.
When talking about stress within Health psychology there are different ways it can be caused.
Stimulus base which could be due to an event It assumes that individuals have a certain tolerance to stress but will become ill when the stress is too great.
Response-based theorists concentrate on the psychophysiology of stress.