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


Nursing Diagnosis

  • Fatigue

May be related to

  • Decreased metabolic energy production, increased energy requirements
  • (hypermetabolic state)
  • Overwhelming psychological/emotional demands
  • Altered body chemistry: side effects of medication, chemotherapy

Possibly evidenced by

  • Unremitting/overwhelming lack of energy, inability to maintain usual routines, decreased performance, impaired ability to concentrate, lethargy/listlessness
  • Disinterest in surroundings

Desired Outcomes

  • Report improved sense of energy.
  • Perform ADLs, with assistance as necessary.
  • Participate in desired activities at level of ability
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess sleep patterns and note changes in thought processes and behavior.Multiple factors can aggravate fatigue, including sleep deprivation, emotional distress, side effects of drugs and chemotherapies, and developing CNS disease.
Recommend scheduling activities for periods when patient has most energy. Plan care to allow for rest periods. Involve patient and SO in schedule planning.Planning allows patient to be active during times when energy level is higher, which may restore a feeling of well-being and a sense of control. Frequent rest periods are needed to restore or conserve energy.
Establish realistic activity goals with patient.Provides for a sense of control and feelings of accomplishment. Prevents discouragement from fatigue of overactivity.
Encourage patient to do whatever possible: self-care, sit in chair, short walks. Increase activity level as indicated.May conserve strength, increase stamina, and enable patient to become more active without undue fatigue and discouragement.
Identify energy conservation techniques: sitting, breaking ADLs into manageable segments. Keep travel ways clear of furniture. Provide or assist with ambulation and self-care needs as appropriate.Weakness may make ADLs almost impossible for patient to complete. Protects patient from injury during activities.
Monitor physiological response to activity: changes in BP, respiratory rate, or heart rate.Tolerance varies greatly, depending on the stage of the disease process, nutrition state, fluid balance, and number or type of opportunistic diseases that patient has been subject to.
Encourage nutritional intake.Adequate intake or utilization of nutrients is necessary to meet increased energy needs for activity. Continuous stimulation of the immune system by HIV infection contributes to a hypermetabolic state.
Refer to physical and/or occupational therapy.Programmed daily exercises and activities help patient maintain and increase strength and muscle tone, enhance sense of well-being.
Refer to community resourcesProvides assistance in areas of individual need as ability to care for self becomes more difficult.
Provide supplemental O2 as indicated.Presence of anemia or hypoxemia reduces oxygen available for cellular uptake and contributes to fatigue.

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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