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Ch 14: HIV/AIDS
Terms in this set (26)
The nurse is advising a clinic patient who was exposed a week ago to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) through unprotected sexual intercourse. The patient's antigen and antibody test has just been reported as negative for HIV. What instructions
should the nurse give to this patient?
a. "You will need to be retested in 2 weeks."
b. "You do not need to fear infecting others."
c. "Since you don't have symptoms and you have had a negative test, you do not have
d. "We won't know for years if you will develop acquired immunodeficiency
HIV screening tests detect HIV-specific antibodies or antigens, but typically it takes a several
week delay after initial infection before HIV can be detected on a screening test. Combination
antibody and antigen tests (also known as fourth-generation tests) decrease the window period to
within 3 weeks after infection. It is not known based on this information whether the patient is
infected with HIV or can infect others.
A patient who has a positive test for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
antibodies is admitted to the hospital with Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PCP) and a
T-cell count of less than 200 cells/mL. Based on diagnostic criteria established by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which statement by the nurse is correct?
a. "The patient will develop symptomatic HIV infection within 1 year."
b. "The patient meets the criteria for a diagnosis of acute HIV infection."
c. "The patient will be diagnosed with asymptomatic chronic HIV infection."
d. "The patient has developed acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)."
Development of PCP meets the diagnostic criteria for AIDS. The other responses indicate earlier
stages of HIV infection than is indicated by the PCP infection.
A patient informed of a positive rapid antibody test result for human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is anxious and does not appear to hear what the nurse is
saying. What action by the nurse is most important at this time?
a. Teach the patient how to reduce risky behaviors.
b. Inform the patient about the available treatments.
c. Remind the patient about the need to return for retesting to verify the results.
d. Ask the patient to identify individuals who had intimate contact with the patient.
After an initial positive antibody test result, the next step is retesting to confirm the results. A
patient who is anxious is not likely to be able to take in new information or be willing to disclose
information about the HIV status of other individuals.
A patient who is diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) tells the nurse, "I feel obsessed with morbid thoughts about dying." Which response by the nurse is appropriate?
a. "Thinking about dying will not improve the course of AIDS."
b. "Do you think that taking an antidepressant might be helpful?"
c. "Can you tell me more about the thoughts that you are having?"
d. "It is important to focus on the good things about your life now."
More assessment of the patient's psychosocial status is needed before taking any other action. The
statements, "Thinking about dying will not improve the course of AIDS" and "It is important to
focus on the good things in life" or suggesting an antidepressant discourage the patient from
sharing any further information with the nurse and decrease the nurse's ability to develop a trusting
relationship with the patient.
A pregnant woman with asymptomatic chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is seen at the clinic. The patient states, "I am very nervous about making my baby sick." Which information will the nurse include when teaching the patient?
a. The antiretroviral medications used to treat HIV infection are teratogenic.
b. Most infants born to HIV-positive mothers are not infected with the virus.
c. Because it is an early stage of HIV infection, the infant will not contract HIV.
d. Her newborn will be born with HIV unless she uses antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Only 25% of infants born to HIV-positive mothers develop HIV infection, even when the mother
does not use ART during pregnancy. The percentage drops to 2% when ART is used. Perinatal
transmission can occur at any stage of HIV infection (although it is less likely to occur when the
viral load is lower). ART can safely be used in pregnancy, although some ART drugs should be
Which patient exposure by the nurse is most likely to require postexposure prophylaxis when the patient's human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) status is unknown?
a. Needle stick injury with a suture needle during a surgery
b. Splash into the eyes while emptying a bedpan containing stool
c. Needle stick with a needle and syringe used for a venipuncture
d. Contamination of open skin lesions with patient vaginal secretions
Puncture wounds are the most common means for workplace transmission of blood-borne diseases,
and a needle with a hollow bore that had been contaminated with the patient's blood would be a
high-risk situation. The other situations described would be much less likely to result in
transmission of the virus.
A young adult female patient who is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive has a new prescription for efavirenz (Sustiva). Which information is most important to include in the medication teaching plan?
a. Take this medication on an empty stomach.
b. Take this medication with a full glass of water.
c. You may have vivid and bizarre dreams as a side effect.
d. Continue to use contraception while taking this medication.
To prevent harm, it is most critical to inform patients that efavirenz can cause fetal anomalies and
should not be used in patients who may be or may become pregnant. The other information is also
accurate, but it does not directly prevent harm. The medication should be taken on an empty
stomach with water and patients should be informed that many people who use the drug have
reported vivid and sometimes bizarre dreams.
A patient who is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected has a CD4+ cell count of 400/μL. Which factor is most important for the nurse to determine before the
initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for this patient?
cell count trajectory
b. HIV genotype and phenotype
c. Patient's tolerance for potential medication side effects
d. Patient's ability to follow a complex medication regimen
Drug resistance develops quickly unless the patient takes ART medications on a strict, regular
schedule. In addition, drug resistance endangers both the patient and community. The other
information is also important to consider, but patients who are unable to manage and follow a
complex drug treatment regimen should not be considered for ART.
The nurse will most likely prepare a medication teaching plan about antiretroviral therapy (ART) for which patient?
a. Patient who is currently HIV negative but has unprotected sex with multiple partners
b. Patient who was infected with HIV 15 years ago and now has a CD4+ count of 840/ μL
c. HIV-positive patient with a CD4+ count of 160/μL who drinks a fifth of whiskey daily
d. Patient who tested positive for HIV 2 years ago and now has cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis
CMV retinitis is an AIDS-defining illness and indicates that the patient is appropriate for ART
even though the HIV infection period is relatively short. An HIV-negative patient would not be
offered ART. A patient with a CD4+ count in the normal range would not typically be started on
ART. A patient who drinks alcohol heavily would be unlikely to be able to manage the complex
drug regimen and would not be appropriate for ART despite the low CD4+ count.
The nurse palpates enlarged cervical lymph nodes on a patient diagnosed with acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Which action would be appropriate for the nurse to take?
a. Instruct the patient to apply ice to the neck.
b. Explain to the patient that this is an expected finding.
c. Request that an antibiotic be prescribed for the patient.
d. Advise the patient that this indicates influenza infection.
Persistent generalized lymphadenopathy is common in the early stages of HIV infection. No
antibiotic is needed because the enlarged nodes are probably not caused by bacteria.
Lymphadenopathy is common with acute HIV infection and is therefore not likely the flu. Ice will
not decrease the swelling in persistent generalized lymphadenopathy
Which information about a patient population would be most useful to help the nurse plan for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing needs?
a. Age c. Symptoms
b. Lifestyle d. Sexual orientation
The current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy is to offer routine testing for HIV to all individuals age 13 to 64 years. Although lifestyle, symptoms, and sexual orientation may
suggest increased risk for HIV infection, the goal is to test all individuals in this age range.
A patient who uses injectable illegal drugs asks the nurse about preventing acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Which response by the nurse is best?
a. "Clean drug injection equipment before each use."
b. "Ask those who share equipment to be tested for HIV."
c. "Consider participating in a needle-exchange program."
d. "Avoid sexual intercourse when using injectable drugs."
Participation in needle-exchange programs has been shown to decrease and control the rate of HIV
infection. Cleaning drug equipment before use also reduces risk, but it might not be consistently
practiced. HIV antibodies do not appear for several weeks to months after exposure, so testing
drug users would not be very effective in reducing risk for HIV exposure. It is difficult to make
appropriate decisions about sexual activity when under the influence of drugs.
Which nursing action will be most useful in assisting a college student to
adhere to a newly prescribed antiretroviral therapy (ART) regimen?
a. Give the patient detailed information about possible medication side effects.
b. Remind the patient of the importance of taking the medications as scheduled.
c. Encourage the patient to join a support group for students who are HIV positive.
d. Check the patient's class schedule to help decide when the drugs should be taken.
The best approach to improve adherence is to learn about important activities in the patient's life
and adjust the ART around those activities. The other actions are also useful, but they will not
improve adherence as much as individualizing the ART to the patient's schedule.
A patient with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection has developed
Mycobacterium avium complex infection. Which outcome would be appropriate for the
nurse to include in the plan of care?
a. The patient will be free from injury.
b. The patient will receive immunizations.
c. The patient will have adequate oxygenation.
d. The patient will maintain intact perineal skin.
The major manifestation of M. avium infection is loose, watery stools, which would increase the
risk for perineal skin breakdown. The other outcomes would be appropriate for other
complications (e.g., pneumonia, dementia, influenza) associated with HIV infection.
A patient treated for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection for 6 years
has developed fat redistribution to the trunk with wasting of the arms, legs, and face. What
recommendation will the nurse give to the patient?
a. Review foods that are higher in protein.
b. Teach about the benefits of daily exercise.
c. Discuss a change in antiretroviral therapy.
d. Talk about treatment with antifungal agents.
A frequent first intervention for metabolic disorders is a change in antiretroviral therapy (ART).
Treatment with antifungal agents would not be appropriate because there is no indication of fungal
infection. Changes in diet or exercise have not proven helpful for this problem.
The nurse prepares to administer the following medications to a hospitalized
patient with human immunodeficiency (HIV). Which medication is most important to
administer at the scheduled time?
a. Nystatin tablet
b. Oral acyclovir (Zovirax)
c. Oral saquinavir (Invirase)
d. Aerosolized pentamidine (NebuPent)
It is important that antiretrovirals be taken at the prescribed time every day to avoid developing
drug-resistant HIV. The other medications should also be given as close as possible to the correct
time, but they are not as essential to receive at the same time every day.
To evaluate the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy (ART), which laboratory
test result will the nurse review?
a. Viral load testing c. Rapid HIV antibody testing
b. Enzyme immunoassay d. Immunofluorescence assay
The effectiveness of ART is measured by the decrease in the amount of virus detectable in the
blood. The other tests are used to detect HIV antibodies, which remain positive even with effective
The nurse is caring for a patient who is human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
positive and taking antiretroviral therapy (ART). Which information is most important for
the nurse to address when planning care?
a. The patient complains of feeling "constantly tired."
b. The patient can't explain the effects of indinavir (Crixivan).
c. The patient reports missing some doses of zidovudine (AZT).
d. The patient reports having no side effects from the medications.
Because missing doses of ART can lead to drug resistance, this patient statement indicates the
need for interventions such as teaching or changes in the drug scheduling. Fatigue is a common
side effect of ART. The nurse should discuss medication actions and side effects with the patient,
but this is not as important as addressing the skipped doses of AZT.
Eight years after seroconversion, a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patient has a CD4+ cell count of 800/μL and an undetectable viral load. What is the priority nursing intervention at this time?
a. Encourage adequate nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
b. Teach about the side effects of antiretroviral agents.
c. Explain opportunistic infections and antibiotic prophylaxis.
d. Monitor symptoms of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).
level for this patient is in the normal range, indicating that the patient is the stage of
asymptomatic chronic infection when the body is able to produce enough CD4+ cells to maintain a
normal CD4+ count. Maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors is an important goal in this stage.
AIDS and increased incidence of opportunistic infections typically develop when the CD4+ count
is much lower than normal. Although the initiation of ART is highly individual, it would not be
likely that a patient with a normal CD4+ level would receive ART.
Which of these patients who have arrived at the human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) clinic should the nurse assess first?
a. Patient whose rapid HIV-antibody test is positive
b. Patient whose latest CD4+ count has dropped to 250/μL
c. Patient who has had 10 liquid stools in the last 24 hours
d. Patient who has nausea from prescribed antiretroviral drugs
The nurse should assess the patient for dehydration and hypovolemia. The other patients also will
require assessment and possible interventions, but do not require immediate action to prevent
complications such as hypovolemia and shock.
An older adult with chronic human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection
who takes medications for coronary artery disease and hypertension has chosen to begin
early antiretroviral therapy (ART). Which information will the nurse include in patient
a. Many drugs interact with antiretroviral medications.
b. HIV infections progress more rapidly in older adults.
c. Less frequent CD4+
level monitoring is needed in older adults.
d. Hospice care is available for patients with terminal HIV infection.
The nurse will teach the patient about potential interactions between antiretrovirals and the
medications that the patient is using for chronic health problems. Treatment and monitoring of
HIV infection is not affected by age. A patient beginning early ART is not a candidate for hospice.
Progression of HIV is not affected by age although it may be affected by chronic disease.
The registered nurse (RN) caring for an HIV-positive patient admitted with
tuberculosis can delegate which action to unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP)?
a. Teach the patient how to dispose of tissues with respiratory secretions.
b. Stock the patient's room with the necessary personal protective equipment.
c. Interview the patient to obtain the names of family members and close contacts.
d. Tell the patient's family members the reason for the use of airborne precautions.
A patient diagnosed with tuberculosis would be placed on airborne precautions. Because all health
care workers are taught about the various types of infection precautions used in the hospital, the
UAP can safely stock the room with personal protective equipment. Obtaining contact information
and patient teaching are higher-level skills that require RN education and scope of practice.
The nurse designs a program to decrease the incidence of human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in the adolescent and young adult populations.
Which information should the nurse assign as the highest priority?
a. Methods to prevent perinatal HIV transmission
b. Ways to sterilize needles used by injectable drug users
c. Prevention of HIV transmission between sexual partners
d. Means to prevent transmission through blood transfusions
Sexual transmission is the most common way that HIV is transmitted. The nurse should also
provide teaching about perinatal transmission, needle sterilization, and blood transfusion, but the
rate of HIV infection associated with these situations is lower.
The nurse is caring for a patient infected with human immunodeficiency virus
(HIV) who has just been diagnosed with asymptomatic chronic HIV infection. Which
prophylactic measures will the nurse include in the plan of care (select all that apply)?
a. Hepatitis B vaccine
b. Pneumococcal vaccine
c. Influenza virus vaccine
e. Varicella zoster immune globulin
A, B, C
Asymptomatic chronic HIV infection is a stage between acute HIV infection and a diagnosis of
symptomatic chronic HIV infection. Although called asymptomatic, symptoms (e.g., fatigue,
headache, low-grade fever, night sweats) often occur. Prevention of other infections is an
important intervention in patients who are HIV positive, and these vaccines are recommended as
soon as the HIV infection is diagnosed. Antibiotics and immune globulin are used to prevent and
treat infections that occur later in the course of the disease when the CD4+
counts have dropped or
when infection has occurred.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines,
which personal protective equipment will the nurse put on before assessing a patient who is
on contact precautions for Clostridium difficile diarrhea (select all that apply)?
d. Shoe covers
e. Eye protection
Because the nurse will have substantial contact with the patient and bedding when doing an
assessment, gloves and gowns are needed. Eye protection and masks are needed for patients in
contact precautions only when spraying or splashing is anticipated. Shoe covers are not
recommended in the CDC guidelines.
The nurse plans a presentation for community members about how to decrease
the risk for antibiotic-resistant infections. Which information will the nurse include in the
teaching plan (select all that apply)?
a. Antibiotics may sometimes be prescribed to prevent infection.
b. Continue taking antibiotics until all of the prescription is gone.
c. Unused antibiotics that are more than a year old should be discarded.
d. Antibiotics are effective in treating influenza associated with high fevers.
e. Hand washing is effective in preventing many viral and bacterial infections.
A, B, E
All prescribed doses of antibiotics should be taken. In some situations, such as before surgery,
antibiotics are prescribed to prevent infection. There should not be any leftover antibiotics because
all prescribed doses should be taken. However, if there are leftover antibiotics, they should be
discarded immediately because the number left will not be enough to treat a future infection. Hand
washing is generally considered the single most effective action in decreasing infection
transmission. Antibiotics are ineffective in treating viral infections such as influenza.
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