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

Impaired Oral Mucous Membrane

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Immunologic deficit and presence of lesion-causing pathogens, e.g., Candida, herpes, KS
  • Dehydration, malnutrition
  • Ineffective oral hygiene
  • Side effects of drugs, chemotherapy

Possibly evidenced by

  • Open ulcerated lesions, vesicles
  • Oral pain/discomfort
  • Stomatitis; leukoplakia, gingivitis, carious teeth

Desired Outcomes

  • Display intact mucous membranes, which are pink, moist, and free of inflammation/ulcerations.
  • Demonstrate techniques to restore/maintain integrity of oral mucosa.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess mucous membranes and document all oral lesions. Note reports of pain, swelling, difficulty with chewing and swallowing.Edema, open lesions, and crusting on oral mucous membranes and throat may cause pain and difficulty with chewing and swallowing.
Provide oral care daily and after food intake, using soft toothbrush, non abrasive toothpaste, non alcohol mouthwash, floss, and lip moisturizer.Alleviates discomfort, prevents acid formation associated with retained food particles, and promotes feeling of well-being.
Rinse oral mucosal lesions with saline and dilute hydrogen peroxide or baking soda solutions.Reduces spread of lesions and encrustations from candidiasis, and promotes comfort.
Suggest use of sugarless gum and candy.Stimulates flow of saliva to neutralize acids and protect mucous membranes.
Plan diet to avoid salty, spicy, abrasive, and acidic foods or beverages. Check for temperature tolerance of foods. Offer cool or cold smooth foods.Abrasive foods may open healing lesions. Open lesions are painful and aggravated by salt, spice, acidic foods or beverages. Extreme cold or heat can cause pain to sensitive mucous membranes.
Encourage oral intake of at least 2500 mL/day.Maintains hydration and prevents drying of oral cavity.
Encourage patient to refrain from smoking.Smoke is drying and irritating to mucous membranes.
Obtain culture specimens of lesions.Reveals causative agents and identifies appropriate therapies.
Administer medications, as indicated:
  • nystatin (Mycostatin), ketoconazole (Nizoral).
Specific drug choice depends on particular infecting organism(s) like Candida.
  • TNF-alpha inhibitor, e.g., thalidomide.
Effective in treatment of oral lesions due to recurrent stomatitis.
Refer for dental consultation, if appropriate.May require additional therapy to prevent dental losses.

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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