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Combining Efforts to Combat HIV and AIDS Report (Assessment)

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Updated: Mar 18th, 2022

HIV/AIDS is no doubt the world’s worst epidemic in both the ancient and modern history of human existence. It has affected mankind from all spheres life and the sad part of it all is that up to now, there is no known cure. In the US and other developed countries, both governmental and non-governmental institutions have combined resources in their quest to fight the scourge. As a result cases of the disease in the countries have drastically reduced. However, these countries at all levels of economic development are facing the same problem, HIV/AIDS (Parker, 2002).

It is a daunting task for health care professionals to watch their patients die, and it is also a hard job since it weighs down one’s psychology and physical strength. There is generally lack of enough safety equipment that would protect these professionals to ensure there is no risk of infection. Most people in places such as sub-Saharan Africa lack the basic education and awareness about the presence of the disease. As a result they don’t know the risks they may be exposing themselves to through indulging in sex without protection. Sometimes they don’t even know there is an enemy to guard against. Primitive belief systems and religious ideology is also a problem. Some religions forbid the use of the condom yet they do not educate the brethren to get tested to know their status before an intercourse.

The difference in health care systems and standards of health care resources available in different parts of the world, greatly affect the course of the disease in individuals and groups. Countries that have a well managed health care system and a responsive structure have knowledgeable clients. In these countries, there is minimal spread of the pandemic. A good example of a country with the most affordable healthcare in the world is Columbia. Colombia has a limited prevalence of the disease.

In some states in Columbia there is as little as ten percent of whole populations within administrative boundaries with the disease. This is due to the fact that information disseminates faster among the people. Government initiatives are directed at accommodating the radical characters in their societies such as homosexuals thus curtailing the spread of the virus. Educating the masses about prevention of the disease has resulted to a widespread use of condoms. Counseling at both the peer and parental levels has made them informed hence equipping them with adequate knowledge to fight the scourge (Blankenship et al, 2006).

Sub-Saharan Africa, the region that has been hit hardest by the scourge lacks the much needed prevention, treatment and care efforts which would have helped in curbing the scourge. As a result the death toll is still rising. Africa generally lags in provision of health care, administering antiretroviral medication and providing support to the growing number of its over twenty million people living with the virus (Altman, 2007). This is a challenge that has brought Africa down to its knees.

Good structural interventions in combating the spread of this pandemic can be provided mainly by institutions that influence governance within a country. These include the administration, non-governmental organizations businesses and even the military. These institutions can impose legal and social regulations, initiating their first step in the long journey of raising the living standards, improving health and facilitating proper citizenship for all within the given country. In this case, Brazil stands out as it has combined both governmental and non-governmental programs aimed at linking treatment and prevention. It has willing policy swiftness in encouraging condom use and uncontaminated needles. Other structures include giving support to genuine personal choices and protecting individuals in the choices they make. These include accepting the facts that amongst the populace, homosexuality and sex for money are a dreadful reality in the society. This also includes acting against forced sex slavery among both women and children. Creating jobs and employing sex workers is also another prerequisite that ensures these people, mostly in the Caribbean and African nations have some income generating activity which would guarantee sustained livelihoods.

There is discrimination and Stigma against people with HIV and AIDS. This describes the difficulties, prejudices, ill treatment, abuse and negative things people with HIV are prone to from their peers, family and the community as whole. This could vary from violation of their rights to poor treatment in health care institutions.

Such factors have devastating effects on the victims of which some are found to have psychological effects. These could range from exaggerated love and excessive kindness from family members, isolation to being told to conceal their status. Such individuals are met with such awkwardness in social gatherings once they declare their positive status. They are also openly avoided by their friends and family who they depend on for unconditional love and support. Other individuals refuse to work with such individuals for fear of contagion. “For instance an average of 27% Americans would not prefer to work with a HIV Positive woman” (Atlis, 2010).

These and many other stigmas continue to face people living with HIV in the society. This violates the rights of such individuals, deterioration of their health and thus making them feel unwanted in the society. It also discourages individuals from accessing testing, care and treatment.

References

Altman, D. (2007). Rights Matter: Structural Interventions and Vulnerable Communities. Inter-American Journal of Psychology, 41(1): 87-92.

Atlis, D. (2010). Stigma, Isolation and discrimination and their impact on HIV serostatus disclosure. A global survey on HIV, 19 (2) 62-87.

Blankenship et al. (2006). Structural Interventions: Concepts, Challenges, and Opportunities for Research. Journal of Urban Health: Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, 83 (1): 59-72.

Parker, R. (2002). The Global HIV/AIDS Pandemic, Structural Inequalities and the Politics of International Health. American Journal of Public Health, 92 (3): 343-346.

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