GSU Health & Medical Ebola & HIV Infectious Diseases Discussion

Compare one of the infectious diseases mentioned in this weeks lesson and compare it with HIV. What is similar, what is different, how is the U.S. Public Health system informing the public on the awareness and what possible precautions should people take.

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In this response, we will compare an infectious disease discussed in this week’s lesson with HIV. We will analyze the similarities and differences between these diseases, examine how the U.S. Public Health system informs the public about them, and recommend possible precautions people should take.


One infectious disease mentioned in this week’s lesson that we will compare with HIV is tuberculosis (TB). TB and HIV are both significant global health concerns. However, they differ in terms of mode of transmission, impact on the immune system, and the strategies employed by the U.S. Public Health system to address them.

1. Global Epidemics: Both HIV and TB pose global health challenges, affecting millions of people worldwide. The burden of these diseases is felt in both developed and developing countries.
2. Infectious Nature: Both HIV and TB are caused by infectious agents. HIV is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, while TB is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Both pathogens can be transmitted from person to person through specific routes.

1. Mode of Transmission: HIV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact, or from an infected mother to her child during childbirth or breastfeeding. On the other hand, TB is primarily transmitted through the inhalation of respiratory droplets containing Mycobacterium tuberculosis expelled by TB-infected individuals.
2. Impact on the Immune System: HIV directly targets and weakens the immune system, specifically attacking CD4 cells. This results in immunodeficiency, making individuals more susceptible to various infections, including TB. In contrast, TB primarily affects the lungs but can also affect other organs, especially in individuals with weakened immune systems. However, it does not directly lead to immune deficiency like HIV.
3. Treatability: While both HIV and TB are treatable, the treatment approaches differ. HIV is a chronic condition managed through antiretroviral therapy (ART), which suppresses viral replication and slows disease progression. TB, on the other hand, can be cured through a combination of antibiotics taken for several months.

U.S. Public Health System and Awareness:
The U.S. Public Health system plays a critical role in informing the public about HIV and TB, promoting awareness, and providing guidance on precautions. For HIV, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) initiates campaigns to increase awareness, encourage HIV testing, and promote safe behaviors such as condom use. The U.S. Public Health Service Task Force also provides comprehensive guidelines for HIV prevention and treatment.

Regarding TB, the CDC and other public health agencies educate healthcare providers and the general public about the importance of early detection, prompt treatment, and infection control measures. They disseminate information through various platforms, including websites, public service announcements, and educational materials available in multiple languages.

Recommended Precautions:
To prevent the transmission of HIV, individuals should practice safe sex by using condoms consistently and correctly, getting tested for HIV regularly, and considering pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for high-risk individuals. For TB, it is crucial to maintain good respiratory hygiene, such as covering the mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing, as well as seeking medical attention if symptoms persist, especially in individuals with known exposure to TB.

While both HIV and TB are infectious diseases with worldwide impact, they differ in terms of transmission routes, impact on the immune system, and treatment approaches. The U.S. Public Health system plays a significant role in raising awareness about these diseases and providing guidelines for prevention and control. Individuals can protect themselves and others by following recommended precautions and seeking appropriate medical care.

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