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HIV/AIDS, Levine’s conservation theory and dimensions of wellness


HIV is a major global public health issue, with more than 35 million lives claimed so far. One million people died in the year 2016 from HIV-related causes worldwide. Human immunodeficiency virus is abbreviated as HIV, which causes HIV infection. AIDS initials in full refer to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The advanced stage of HIV infection is referred to as AIDS. Dimensions of wellness regard the determination of individual well-being. There are seven dimensions of wellness, which will be discussed later. Levine’s conservation theory has mainly been used in the field of nursing when it comes to the treatment of patients with various conditions including HIV/AIDS. In HIV therapy, Levine’s conservation model and the dimensions of wellness are used. Therefore, I find it necessary to describe HIV/AIDS briefly, Levine’s conservation theory and the dimensions of wellness.


African region is the most affected with 25.7 million people living with HIV. This is according to WHO reports of 2016. In the United States, sharing of drug injection tools and having sex with a person who has HIV are the primary causes of its spread. HIV attacks and destroys CD4 cells of the immune system. Destruction of these cells makes it difficult for the body to fight infections and certain cancers. The spread of this disease is caused by direct contact of body fluids with a person who has the virus. Such fluids include pre-seminal fluid, rectal fluids, breast milk, semen, vaginal fluids, and blood. Mother-to-child transmission of HIV is caused during breastfeeding, pregnancy period or childbirth. HIV medicines can reduce mother-to-child transmission of this virus when the woman takes it as recommended by the physician.

Antiretrovirals or ARVs are used to treat HIV infection. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the use of ARVs to treat HIV infection. The importance of ART is to prevent HIV from reproducing, this reduces the magnitude of HIV in the body. When the body has a significant amount of this virus in the body, it weakens the immune system which may advance the HIV infection to AIDs. The role of ART is not to cure the illness but to prolong the lives of people with HIV and reduce the threat of HIV transmission. Flu-like Indications such as rash, fever or chills may appear within 2 to 4 weeks after one gets infected with HIV. An individual can develop other signs and symptoms as the infection weakens the resistance in the body. The symptoms may include swollen lymph nodes a cough, fever, weight loss and diarrhea. If they are not treated, they can develop into plain infections such as cryptococcal meningitis, lymphomas, tuberculosis and Kaposi’s sarcoma.

The behaviours and conditions that risk people contracting HIV include sharing contaminated syringes, needles, and drug solutions, having unprotected sex, unsafe injections, tissue transplantation, blood transfusions, having other STIs such as herpes, gonorrhoea, and syphilis among others, and through accidental needle stick injuries. A serological test is done for HIV diagnosis. The serological test helps to detect the presence or absence of antibodies. The antibodies to HIV in most individuals develop within a month of infection. However, serological testing is not enough to detect HIV infection in children less than 18 months of age. Instead, Virological measurement can be carried out at week 6 or at birth to identify the virus in infants born to mothers with HIV. HIV/AIDs prevention may include testing and counselling for STIs and HIV, male circumcision, use of ARVs, eliminating mother-to-child transmission, use of male and female condoms and reduction of people who inject and use drugs. HIV infection has no cure, but it can be curbed through the method of ART comprising three or more antiretroviral drugs.

Levine’s conservation theory

Levine established the four conservation principles in this theory. The model states that the goal of nursing should be to maintain fullness and promote adaptation through conservation principles. It further guides nurses to concentrate on the responses and influences at the individual level. This is accomplished by preserving structure, energy, and personal and social integrity. She states that everyone has an exceptional range of adaptive reactions. The responses vary according to age, gender, challenges from an ailment and genes. Manifestation and timing of the responses are unique to an individual’s pulse rate although the reactions are the same for everyone. Patient’s integrity can be maintained while staying within the realities of the environment because adaption is an ongoing process of change. The conservation principle promotes wholeness, which exists when integrity is ensured during environmental interaction.

The realization of the equilibrium of energy demand and supply in the biological authenticities of a patient is referred to as conservation. Four aspects of the conservation code include protection of personal integrity, preservation of social integrity, conservation of energy and conservation of structural integrity. The conservation of structural integrity denotes the restoring or maintaining the physical body and its healing. Conserving personal integrity identifies recognition, respect, self-determination, and awareness as personal needs. Patient’s relationships and interactions with others are addressed in social integrity conservation.

Dimensions of wellness

The seven aspects of wellness include physical, environmental, occupational, intellectual social, spiritual and emotional wellness. Emotional wellness focuses on acceptance, awareness and healthy expressions. Despite frustrations and disappointments, it contains a positive expression of emotions, behaviours, and feelings. Cultivating an optimistic attitude, reducing negative emotions, managing stress and the ability to bounce back from adversity are vital facets of emotional wellness. Maintaining proper weight, managing stress, and regular medical checkups are constituents of physical wellness. Some components of occupational wellness are volunteering, mentoring and caregiving. Our respect for ourselves and others in our interaction creates a support system for patients, families, and friends and promotes social wellness. Environmental wellness entails the harmonious living of people’s lives and the earth. The interaction is through the supply of water, pollution, the safety of food and infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Intellectual wellness is about critical thinking, creative pursuits, and engaging the mind in lively interaction with the surrounding environment.


As a nurse, a health condition such as HIV/AIDs lives within our working environment or back at home. They interact with people suffering from the disease more often and the families of these people. Social wellness is an essential factor when dealing with patients and families. We should understand the emotions, shocks, and disappointments that come with the realization of a patient’s positive HIV testing. Conservation of social integrity determines how nurses handle HIV patients, their families, and friends. Conserving personal integrity, which informs more about personal needs, helps the nurses counsel and treat the patients, knowing they have a right to be respected and recognized. According to Levine’s conservation theory, nursing aims to maintain wholeness and adaptation. HIV patients should, therefore, be helped to adapt to the new condition of living with the disease through the proper ART.



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