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

Social Isolation

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Social Isolation

May be related to

  • Altered state of wellness, changes in physical appearance, alterations in mental status
  • Perceptions of unacceptable social or sexual behavior/values
  • Inadequate personal resources/support systems
  • Physical isolation

Possibly evidenced by

  • Expressed feeling of aloneness imposed by others, feelings of rejection
  • Absence of supportive SO: partners, family, acquaintances/friends

Desired Outcomes

  • Identify supportive individual(s).
  • Use resources for assistance.
  • Participate in activities/programs at level of ability/desire.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Ascertain patient’s perception of situation.Isolation may be partly self-imposed because patient fears rejection/reaction of others.
Spend time talking with patient during and between care activities. Be supportive, allowing for verbalization. Treat with dignity and regard for patient’s feelings.Patient may experience physical isolation as a result of current medical status and some degree of social isolation secondary to diagnosis of AIDS.
Limit or avoid use of mask, gown, and gloves when possible and when talking to patient.Reduces patient’s sense of physical isolation and provides positive social contact, which may enhance self-esteem and decrease negative behaviors.
Identify support systems available to patient, including presence of and/or relationship with immediate and extended family.When patient has assistance from SO, feelings of loneliness and rejection are diminished. Patient may not receive usual or needed support for coping with life-threatening illness and associated grief because of fear and lack of understanding (AIDS hysteria).
Explain isolation precautions and procedures to patient and SO.Gloves, gowns, mask are not routinely required with a diagnosis of AIDS except when contact with secretions or excretions is expected. Misuse of these barriers enhances feelings of emotional and physical isolation. When precautions are necessary, explanations help patient understand reasons for procedures and provide feeling of inclusion in what is happening.
Encourage open visitation (as able), telephone contacts, and social activities within tolerated level.Participation with others can foster a feeling of belonging.
Encourage active role of contact with SO.Helps reestablish a feeling of participation in a social relationship. May lessen likelihood of suicide attempts.
Develop a plan of action with patient: Look at available resources; support healthy behaviors. Help patient problem-solve solution to short-term or imposed isolation.Having a plan promotes a sense of control over own life and gives patient something to look forward to and actions to accomplish.
Be alert to verbal or nonverbal cues: withdrawal, statements of despair, sense of aloneness. Ask patient if thoughts of suicide are being entertained.Indicators of despair and suicidal ideation are often present; when these cues are acknowledged by the caregiver, patient is usually willing to talk about thoughts of suicide and sense of isolation and hopelessness.

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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