The National Minority AIDS Education & Training Center
AIDS in the US: An Overview
AIDS continues to affect thousands of Americans every day. This disease has led to many deaths over the years, and remains one of the major causes of mortality in the country. Along with the physical symptoms, this disease also devastates lives both socially and psychologically. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 1.4 million people are living with AIDS in North America. While some social groups and minorities have seen an increase in the number of HIV cases within their communities, others have experienced a decline.
There are a number of agencies and federal healthcare institutions that are working towards controlling the spread of AIDS, and assisting patients. This is one of the biggest health challenges faced by many countries worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Department of Human Health Services, and the National Minority AIDS Education and Training Center (NMAETC) are among the few major agencies that aim to protect the health of Americans and also educate them on this deadly disease.
Role of Pharmacy in the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS
Pharmacists are considered as partners in healthcare when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS. Over the years, the role of pharmacists has evolved and now holds a crucial position in treating HIV infected patients. By collaborating with other healthcare professionals, pharmacists can provide effective drug therapy and act as a catalyst for treating this disease. Pharmacists have contributed to this area and have provided significant input to help counter the AIDS epidemic.
Pharmacists not only provide medication and administer drugs to HIV patients, but also act as a source of information and educate patients about their condition. These professionals can also make referrals for related health-needs and ensure administering of quality drug-therapies. In many cases, pharmacists will be required to interact with HIV infected patients directly. Pharmacists are usually found working at the front-line when it comes to helping HIV infected patients. It has been seen that HIV infected patients are often victims of discrimination and feel alienated due to their condition. These professionals are admired for not only their medical services, but also their emotional support, compassion, and relationship with patients.
The American Pharmacists Association, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy are a few of the leading organizations that oversee this profession. These authorized bodies ensure that quality services are being provided.
Help Fight AIDS by Becoming a Pharmacist
Are you interested in joining the fight against HIV/AIDS? If yes, you can consider becoming a licensed pharmacist in the United States. Hundreds of individuals prepare for pharmacy positions every year by pursuing specialized pharmacology degree programs. All pharmacists are required to hold at least a BS in pharmacology or a doctor of pharmacy degree.
Pharmacy degrees are offered by many accredited pharmacist schools throughout the country. These programs provide a thorough understanding of the field, and will equip students with skills necessary to launch a career in the healthcare industry successfully. Pursuing a full-time campus-based degree may not be feasible if you are already working or have other commitments to attend to. In order to make this field of education more accessible, you can opt for an online pharmacy degree. Not only will this mode of learning allow you to study at times that fit your schedule, but will also prove to be more flexible, manageable, and affordable. With a degree in pharmacy in hand, you can apply for a license and take the next step to launching your career.
Getting a degree in pharmacy can turn out to be beneficial in many ways as these professionals are in high demand in the healthcare field. Many AIDS prevention agencies are looking for skilled pharmacists that can help them devise effective drug therapy programs and help thousands of HIV infected patients. While many assume pharmacists simply for dispensation of medicine, the role of these professionals goes way beyond. From dispensing medicines to monitoring symptoms, pharmacists are required to manage various activities that may also include drug therapy management. Treating AIDS is not a one man show, and requires the collective efforts and management of a specialized healthcare team.
There are a number of drugs that have been developed to control HIV infections. These are known as antiretroviral (ARV) agents. There are many different antiretroviral agents that fall in various classes and categories. These are used to treat different stages of HIV infections and are administered by qualified pharmacists. With continuing research in this field, many new ARV agents are being developed. Pharmacists must be well aware of these upcoming developments and must understand the use of the agents, the side effects, and how to carefully prescribe dosage to HIV patients. Pharmacy and the role these professionals play is rapidly becoming an important part of AIDS prevention and treatment management. Individuals who are seeking careers in a rapidly growing healthcare sector can look into pharmacy careers.