St. Thomas University
NUR 421 AP1
The paper that I am writing about is based on one of the Healthy People 2030 area of concerns.
Its main objectives will be on sexual transmitted infections with the focus on HIV and the
population and groups it is affecting the most. I will be explaining the negative affects its has on
health populations, as well as plans and actions to possibly decrease the rate of infections within
this high risk groups.
Healthy People 2030 works by using evidence-based practice, to create goals to improve health
and well-being over a ten-year span. For goals to be created, we must build on framework that
explains the main ideas and main functions to provide a context and rational for dealing with
these ideas, as well as communicating the principles that support these decisions about Healthy
People 2030 (Barna, 2020). This will help with access to facts and statistics that can promote
changes in the health affairs of the U.S. population, which can help with goals and objectives for
next decades to come. The priority will always be the most serious issues affecting health and
wellbeing in general terms, that can be improved in the long run by using all available
knowledge on the issue at hand.
Healthy People 2030 health issue: Sexual Transmitted Infection
Many sexual transmitted infections (STIs) can be prevented and cured, with abstinence and
treatment. One STI that is preventable and treatable, but unfortunately does not have a cure now
is, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). There are more than 20 million estimated new cases
of STIs in the United States and there are currently 1.2 million people living with HIV (Healthy
People, n.d.). Healthy People 2030 goals regarding STIs, including HIV, is preventing, treating,
and improving the health and well-being of people who have them.
We will be focusing on HIV and the affects it has on different groups and communities.
To have an understanding on the topic we must know how it came about. HIV presented itself
around 1981, it was noticed in a couple of gay males, who before the virus, were overall healthy
adults. The men presented with Pneumocystis Carinii Pneumonia (PCP), a rare lung infection
that researchers later linked to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Studies later found
out that HIV, when left untreated can cause AIDS, with an average life span of 8 to 10 years
without treatment. HIV can present itself with flu-like symptoms, such as: fever, chills, night
sweats, and even unexplained rashes. If you test positive for HIV you can receive antiretroviral
therapy (ART), it can bring the viral load to undetectable and prevent AIDS.
Contrast causes of disparities related to this health issues within populations
We have come a long way since 1981 with HIV/AIDS crisis. We now know so much more than
we knew back then, but there are still communities that has an unfair number with this disease.
Many reasons that can cause this unfair number are things like race, sexual orientation, and
poverty can unfortunately increase the risk of infection in a community. Access to good
healthcare, cultural beliefs, stigma, homophobia, and systematic racism, can all cause infections
like HIV to spread through a community (Myhre & Sifris, 2021). These groups are more at risk
for infection and not getting treated. As mentioned before, around 1.2 million people are living
with HIV in the United States, with over 36,800 new infections happening every year, the
communities at the greatest risk being, men who have sex with men, people of color, women and
those that inject drugs.
Poverty has shown to increase the risk of infection, unless there are programs like
community outreaches, health education, and test provided to help the impoverished more aware
of the risk of infection, otherwise they remain vulnerable to it. Compared to wealthier
communities that has more access to education and facilities that offer education and treatment.
No less than 76% of people living with HIV in the United States have a household income of less
than $20,000 annually, of this number 39% are unemployed, while 18% report homelessness
(Myhre & Sifris, 2021). Racism in the United States has inevitably led to disparities between
people of color. People of color has a double risk factor of having a higher number of HIV
infection and high rates of poverty. The poverty rate for Black people currently is at 18.8%,
compared to Whites whose rate stands 7.3% (Myhre & Sifris, 2021). According to the CDC
(2022), in 2020 there were 30,635 new HIV diagnosis, among this number 42% were Blacks and
27% are Latinos, compared to Whites who made up 26% of the new cases. It is said possibly due
to Blacks and Latinos, who are more likely to live in areas that are racially separated, because
these areas have a higher rate of poverty, crime, drug use, and STIs, all of which can increase the
risk of HIV infections. Poverty is not the only factor with this group, but also medical mistrust,
homophobia, and the stigma of having HIV is very high in the Black community. Only 48% of
Blacks with HIV remain in care after they are diagnosed, while only half of that number reach a
level of undetectable viral load, compared to the White and Latino communities which numbers
are drastically lower (Myhre & Sifris, 2021). Men who have sex with men make up a huge part
of HIV cases. This is hugely due to the way they have sex; the risk is 18 times greater of getting
the virus from unprotected anal sex, compared to having unprotected vaginal sex (Myhre &
Sifris, 2021). Men who have sex with men also face various stigma and homophobia, which
increases their risk for infection, because of the fear of being outed they may not get tested.
Women, especially Black women are more susceptible to the virus because the area of the vagina
has a larger surface area than the men’s penis. In a lifetime a Black women’s risk of HIV is 15
times greater than that of white women and 5 times greater than Latino women (Myre & Sifris,
2021). Injecting drug users make up a small amount of HIV cases, but they are still at a higher
risk because of the potential of sharing needles and syringes with an infected person. It can also
be very hard to manage HIV and an addiction at the same time. Compared to injection users that
seek treatment, like methadone, are more likely to stick with their HIV regimen than those that
don’t seek treatment.
Propose a public health communication strategy to reduce disparity and promote
Health communication deals with verbal and written strategies that effect and give authority to
people, populations, and communities to make better and healthier choices. By taking the data
that we know and the populations most at risk, we can start there. I would propose community
outreaches in impoverished areas, which include free STI and HIV testing. Also, health
brochures with pictures and few words, to cater to various educational background and free
condoms. We also need to consider where in the rural areas has the heaviest traffic of people, to
reach as many as we can. Also, posting advertisement about reminders of taking your HIV
treatment to prevent the spread of infection and AIDS.
Outline a plan for the communication
We should first set goals to reach as many as possible but putting a number on it will allow us to
properly evaluate our efforts more efficiently. Our key audience will be those who live in rural
areas, people of color, men who have sex with men, and injection drug users, these groups make
up a high number of HIV infection rates. Our key message will be prevention and treatment from
the virus. As mentioned before, setting up billboards within high risks areas and personally
handing out brochures and condoms, also giving out free STI/HIV testing. We need to develop
material not only about HIV, but also staying culturally aware of what group of people is around
outreach, so making sure to provide bilingual staff and literature in the language that they are
familiar with, to effectively get the message across. Setting a specific timeframe is crucial, to
evaluate the effectiveness of our plan. Host an outreach party in the community to communicate
to our audience the results of our outreach.
Describe an evaluation plan for the communication
To assess the strategies effectiveness we must look at our goals and our proposed
indications. We need to first evaluate the staff members that were sent to the areas of risk, , if
they were efficiently getting our message across to our target audience, by again testing their
knowledge of the virus. We want to include the number of material and test given out and
percentage of people that viewed the billboards. Lastly, we can evaluate the decrease of the
infection in the targeted community since the outreach.
Create targeted communication for each population
To make our HIV awareness more convenient and effective, we need to place our
communication methods in effective places, so our target audience will have more of a chance to
see it. As mentioned before a large portion of Black people and drug addicts live in rural areas,
many of these rural areas have local convivence stores they are likely to visit, so placing posters
on or around convivence stores in the area may help to bring awareness to this group. Placing
pamphlets in women’s clinics, especially those that service high volume of Black women clients
and possibly a pop-up shop outside those clinics to give further education and referrals for
testing. Men who have sex with men usually have an area exclusively for them, setting up free
testing sites and education on prevention and treatment around those areas, can help them receive
the message. For our younger at-risk group, social media will probably be the best
communication outreach, using things like; Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be highly
communication tools for this group.
Reflect on learning through this project
If I didn’t understand Healthy People 2030 existence, doing research on this particular
health issues has made me so much more knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, and how me came
such a long way since 1981 when we first found out about the disease. Things like PrEP (pre-
exposure prophylaxis) medication that reduces the risk of HIV through sex by about 99% and
74% if you inject drugs (CDC, 2020). But there are still communities that need our help, due to
lack of knowledge and limited resources, they might feel they can’t afford it or just an all-around
stigma towards HIV. We must break those barriers of communication and bring the knowledge
to those that need it most. The black community especially needs to be educated; the numbers
have shown that almost half of all new cases comes from this group. I know in large part that it
comes from the number of health disparities the Black community has. I feel we as healthcare
providers have to find away to build trust in this community, in order to see drastic change in the
number cases we see, not only in the Black community, but all high-risk groups.
Barna, M. (2020). Healthy People 2030 charts a new course for the nation: Newest edition shares
355 measurable, streamlined objectives. The Nation’s Health, 50(8), 1.
CDC. (2020, June 4). Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) | HIV Risk and Prevention | HIV/AIDS |
HIV Diagnoses | HIV in the US | HIV Statistics Center | HIV | CDC. (2022, September 2).
Myhre, J., & Sifris, D. (2021, October 21). Health Disparities in HIV. Verywell Health.
Sexually Transmitted Infections – Healthy People 2030 | health.gov. (n.d.). Health.gov.