13 AIDS (HIV Positive) Nursing Care Plans


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a serious secondary immunodeficiency disorder caused by the retrovirus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Both diseases are characterized by the progressive destruction of cell-mediated (T-cell) immunity with subsequent effects on humoral (B-cell) immunity because of the pivotal role of the CD4+helper T cells in immune reactions. Immunodeficiency makes the patient susceptible to opportunistic infections, unusual cancers, and other abnormalities.

AIDS results from the infection of HIV which has two forms: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Both forms have the same model of transmission and similar opportunistic infections associated with AIDS, but studies indicate that HIV-2 develops more slowly and presents with milder symptoms than HIV-1. Transmission occurs through contact with infected blood or body fluids and is associated with identifiable high-risk behaviors.

Persons with HIV/AIDS have been found to fall into five general categories: (1) homosexual or bisexual men, (2) injection drug users, (3) recipients of infected blood or blood products, (4) heterosexual partners of a person with HIV infection, and (5) children born to an infected mother. The rate of infection is most rapidly increasing among minority women and is increasingly a disease of persons of color.

Nursing Care Plans

There is no cure yet for either HIV or AIDS. However, significant advances have been made to help patients control signs and symptoms and impair disease progression.


Here are 13 nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for patients with AIDS/HIV Positive:

  1. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  2. Fatigue
  3. Acute/Chronic Pain
  4. Impaired Skin Integrity
  5. Impaired Oral Mucous Membrane
  6. Disturbed Thought Process
  7. Anxiety/Fear
  8. Social Isolation
  9. Powerlessness
  10. Deficient Knowledge
  11. Risk for Injury
  12. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  13. Risk for Infection
  14. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans

Risk for Injury

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Risk for Injury

Risk factors may include

  • Abnormal blood profile: decreased vitamin K absorption, alteration in hepatic function, presence of autoimmune antiplatelet antibodies, malignancies (KS), and/or circulating endotoxins (sepsis)

Desired Outcomes

  • Display homeostasis as evidenced by absence of bleeding.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Avoid injections, rectal temperatures and rectal tubes. Administer rectal suppositories with caution.Protects patient from procedure-related causes of bleeding: insertion of thermometers, rectal tubes can damage or tear rectal mucosa. Some medications need to be given via suppository, so caution is advised.
Maintain a safe environment. Keep all necessary objects and call bell within patient’s reach and place bed in low position.Reduces accidental injury, which could result in bleeding.
Maintain bed rest or chair rest when platelets are below 10,000 or as individually appropriate. Assess medication regimen.Reduces possibility of injury, although activity needs to be maintained. May need to discontinue or reduce dosage of a drug. Patient can have a surprisingly low platelet count without bleeding.
Hematest body fluids: urine, stool, vomitus, for occult blood.Prompt detection of bleeding or initiation of therapy may prevent critical hemorrhage.
Observe for or report epistaxis, hemoptysis, hematuria, non menstrual vaginal bleeding, or oozing from lesions or body orifices and/or IV insertion sites.Spontaneous bleeding may indicate development of DIC or immune thrombocytopenia, necessitating further evaluation and prompt intervention.
Monitor for changes in vital signs and skin color: BP, pulse, respirations, skin pallor and discoloration.Presence of bleeding and hemorrhage may lead to circulatory failure and shock.
Evaluate change in level of consciousness.May reflect cerebral bleeding.
Review laboratory studies: PT, aPTT, clotting time, platelets, Hb/Hct.Detects alterations in clotting capability; identifies therapy needs. Many individuals (up to 80%) display platelet count below 50,000 and may be asymptomatic, necessitating regular monitoring.
Administer blood products as indicated.Transfusions may be required in the event of persistent or massive spontaneous bleeding.
Avoid use of aspirin products and NSAIDs, especially in presence of gastric lesions.These medications reduce platelet aggregation, impairing and prolonging the coagulation process, and may cause further gastric irritation, increasing risk of bleeding.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other care plans related to communicable and infectious diseases:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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