Biologic Processes

Abstract

Public health experts rely on the knowledge of biologic processes to understand the dynamics of diseases and coming up with control measures. The enlightenment on HIV biologic processes has enabled the public health experts launch campaigns on condom use and other preventive measures that minimize the risk of exposure. The emphasis on HIV positive people using ARVs as a way of minimizing the spread of infection is also based on the understanding of biologic processes. Public health specialists have also used their knowledge of biologic processes involved in the spread of cholera through contaminated water to curb its spread as well as prevent outbreaks. Public health and understanding biologic processes are closely related hence it is imperative for all public health officials to possess the knowledge on biologic processes.

Biologic Processes

Understanding biologic processes is critical to achieving goals in public health. Each disease is related to some biologic processes that define its progression. It is from the knowledge on biologic processes of the disease public health that experts can define the mechanisms to control it, as well as enlighten the public on the preventive measures they can take to avoid getting infected. HIV is one of the infections where without understanding the biologic processes of acquiring the virus, controlling the infection would be almost impossible. Before developing the prevention measures, scientists had to know how the virus was being transmitted from one person to the other (Boerma& Weir, 2005). Even after discovering that the virus was mostly spreading through sexual intercourse, an understanding of what exactly happens during sex leading to the transmission from one person to the other was important. It therefore, emerges that understanding biologic processes is paramount.

Without the knowledge, that for HIV to move from one person to the other body fluids must be involved, it would have been very hard to come up with the methods currently being used for preventing HIV transmission among individuals. Without understanding in HIV transmission, sexual fluids play a major role, public health experts would not be advocating for the use of condoms to prevent new infections. The understanding that most body surfaces that are covered by skin like hands and legs do not allow the HIV to penetrate into the body unless they have wounds is what supports the public officials in fighting stigma. The knowledge is shared in encouraging people who are HIV negative to interact with those who are HIV positive without the fear of getting infected. Knowledge on biologic processes involved in the transmission of HIV has also played a key role in public health because it is the foundation of campaigns to encourage people to get tested for HIV and those who turn positive to start taking HIV drugs. Public health officials understand that the amount of viral load in the sexual fluids determines whether a person can infect their partners or not (König et al. 2008).People with low detectable levels of the virus cannot transmit the virus, and it is the reason HIV people are encouraged to take ARV’s as a way of preventing further spread of the disease.

Understanding biologic processes is not only necessary in the control of the spread of HIV but also in preventing and controlling cholera outbreaks.  To be able to control cholera outbreaks, the public health officials must know what causes cholera and how it is spread.  Without knowing that the bacteria causing cholera spreads through water or food contaminated with feces from an infected person, it is possible to suppress the spread of cholera. The knowledge that after drinking  contaminated water the bacteria enters the body and penetrates through the ion channels later causing vomiting and diarrhea is basic to public health officials involved in curbing the spread of cholera. Public health’s officials, therefore, rely on the understanding of biologic processes to encourage water treatment and ensure people are encouraged to maintain hygiene.

Conclusively, from the above two selected infections, it is evident that knowledge on biologic processes is key to public health. Without the knowledge, the public health experts would be overwhelmed in their work of controlling diseases.

References

Boerma, J. T., & Weir, S. S. (2005). Integrating demographic and epidemiological approaches to research on HIV/AIDS: the proximate-determinants framework. The Journal of infectious diseases191(Supplement_1), S61-S67.

König, R., Zhou, Y., Elleder, D., Diamond, T. L., Bonamy, G. M., Irelan, J. T., …& Seidel, S. (2008). Global analysis of host-pathogen interactions that regulate early-stage HIV-1 replication. Cell135(1), 49-60.

Pratt, J. T., Tamayo, R., Tischler, A. D., &Camilli, A. (2007).PilZ domain proteins bind cyclic diguanylate and regulate diverse processes in Vibrio cholerae. Journal of Biological Chemistry282(17), 12860-12870.

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