The public health issue I will be completing my project on is HIV infection in adolescence. According to the World Health Organization (2013), 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV were identified in 2012. This topic is interesting to me because as a former educator, I came across several young girls in elementary school who were sexually active. As disturbing as this was to me, I was curious as to how knowledgable they were about the risks asscoiated with sexual intercourse. With no surprise to me, they had no idea of how they could obtain a sexually transmitted diseases, but was well informed about teen pregnancy. The lack of education among the youth participating in sexual acts has made an impact within the community, with so many contracting HIV because they were unaware of how the disease can be spread.
To begin my research, I plan to obtain statistical data from the CDC and WHO about the current number of adolescents living with HIV. Also, obtaining information from Healthy People 2020 about adolescent reproductive health, will provide me with the foundation needed to understand the impact HIV has on the younger population.
World Health Organization. (2013). HIV and adolescents: Guidance for HIV testing and counselling and care for adolescents living with HIV. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/adolescents/en/
The public health issue that I have chosen is obesity. I have chosen this topic mainly because this is the population who I work with, and because so many chronic diseases are linked to obesity. Our community has a large amount of the population that is overweight and obese and they are not sure how to overcome this. I enjoy educating the community about healthy lifestyle changes and being their support person in my current career. I used to work at our local hospital and in partnership with our local health department as well as an organization called the Partnership for Healthier Carroll County. While I was at the hospital I was a part of our community health needs assessment, so this would be the place where I would start first for gathering the baseline data of the community. The hospital, health department, and Partnership all provide resources and data about the overweight and obese population as well as associated chronic diseases, like diabetes.