Everyday, people work, play, eat, sleep, have fun, and just try to live a healthy, normal life. But in some cases or situations, all these things change and living becomes not so "normal" when a person is affected by a chronic illness. Chronic illness is defined as a long-term health problem caused by an irreversible disorder (Black, 2001). A chronic illness can alter an individual's quality of life dramatically in all aspects of daily living. Quality of life is something that is intensely personal and particular, including the person's ability to live independently, age, and ability to contribute to society (Potter, 2001). Some people are able to cope better than others depending on the severity and type of illness, coping strategies, and most important of all, the person's network of support such as family and friends. Any change experienced in life can be stressful and traumatic. But a downward change in a person's quality of life can be very difficult, especially knowing that life will never be the same again and the illness is possibly life threatening. Having a chronic illness is very overwhelming and often takes over a person's life, making the person feel powerless and a lot of times depressed. People affected by a chronic illness such as AIDS/HIV go through major changes, basically altering their quality of life. This paper will discuss how a chronic illness such as AIDS/HIV can affect an individual's quality of life in areas such as their physical functioning, psychological well being, and social functioning. .
Fatigue is very common condition for people with HIV; it can be physical or psychological. When HIV multiplies, the infected body uses more energy trying to fight it, causing fatigue. But most people have more energy as soon as they start taking their prescribed anti-HIV medications. This is why it is very important as a nurse taking care of an HIV patient to emphasize the importance of compliance to treatment and medications.