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Summary of News Reports
Healthcare problems attract enormous attention to the public today. They are not already only contemporary issues that are discussed by the scientists and professionals, which underlines that they reached criticality level. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is among the conditions that are discussed so widely that almost every person in the world knows about its existence. Even though healthcare professionals investigated the syndrome and virus that causes it (HIV) for a long time and found medicines that can help to prevent and control it, HIV/AIDS is still spreading.
In her news report, Wendy Lemeric (2016) discusses the most recent HIV/AIDS cure, trying to show how close the scientists are to discover it. The author throws light on the collection of studies and reports made by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. She describes one of them in brief (adding an anti-retroviral drug to an existing anti-retroviral therapy) to prove that steps forward are made, and a cure for HIV infection is likely to be found soon, as researchers are not going to stop and continue deepening into the topic.
Martin Duberman (2016) provides a more focused view of the problem. He discusses the spreading of AIDS among African American males who are engaged in same-sex conduct. The author believes that people in color become more affected by this issue than others. Duberman (2016) pays attention to the lower-income populations, as they have high rates of deaths because of AIDS in comparison to the whites with a decent income. He is highly concerned that African American gay people lost a sense of urgency as they believe AIDS to be manageable. As a result, no positive changes are seen among this population, and the problem fails to be solved.
A recent news report presented by Dan Taylor (2016) questions the effectiveness of HIV treatment and taking AIDS under control. He shares the information about the prevention pill, known as Truvada, and emphasizes the fact that it has different effects on male and female populations. The author is concerned that scientists give the general public a false sense of security. Still, he is sure that they made a great step forward since the time the disease first emerged. Taylor (2016) believes that much more work should be done before it could be said that the goal is achieved.
Catharine Paddock (2016) investigates the problem of HIV/AIDS from a financial perspective. She pays attention to the countries in sub-Saharan Africa where a lot of people suffer from this problem. Paddock discusses the report prepared by the scientists from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. They calculated the funding these countries require and claimed that it would be impossible to provide them because domestic financing will not have an estimated amount of money available. Thus, it is emphasized that it is time to search for a range of innovative sources of finance that will allow improving the situation. The author points out that such an approach was already used about ten years ago, and it was effective, which proves that such a change is likely to be advantageous even today.
Analysis of News Reports
All four news reports present the problem faced by individuals all over the world that are known as AIDS. The authors mainly discuss it along with HIV, as it is the cause of this health-related issue. They show their concern about the spreading of AIDS and speak about HIV/AIDS treatment that is currently available or/and will be needed with the course of time.
The epidemic of HIV/AIDS is the issue that is tightly related to primary and community health care because it is an essential treatment that should be available for all. Of course, there are particular populations that are at high risk of having AIDS, but every person may suffer from this problem today regardless of one’s social, financial state, race, and sexual orientation. There is even a possibility of being infected in the healthcare facility. As a result, people can get infected and can spread HIV/AIDS even not knowing that something is wrong. Thus, it is critical that every person has an opportunity to be tested for it and receive needed treatment that will be able to help to prevent or control it.
In the report provided by Lemeric (2016), HIV/AIDS is seen as a problem that receives enormous attention from the scientists and medical experts, which makes the general public believe that they are highly concerned. Because of the media’s representation, people are likely to think that the cure is almost found, and there is no need to be worried.
Duberman (2016) imposes another opinion on the issue. His report makes the population of the USA believes that even though all people are at risk of having AIDS, African Americans suffer the most. In this way, the public is worried about the condition of the colored individuals and is likely to pay less attention to other populations.
In Taylor’s report, HIV/AIDS is presented as a health related problem that does not have any decent treatment right now; however, the attempts are made to find it. Such representation makes people think that HIV/AID is the problem that should be avoided if possible because once being infected one will be ill during the whole life.
Paddock (2016) underlined that being spread all over the world, HIV/AIDS became a crucial problem in sub-Saharan Africa. Nine countries that belong to it require funding, but the required amount can be received only from innovative sources of finance. As a result, Americans my think that the problem is critical only for these countries and no efforts should be spent on trying to prevent it in other countries before Africa receives needed assistance.
Issue within a Historical Context
Today, the general public is provided with the enormous amount of information related to HIV/AIDS, which allows it to know not only the information about the current situation in the world but also the ways of prevention and control. Of course, it was not always so, and people used to have limited knowledge about his health related problem. Except for that, professionals discussed it in different perspectives that altered with the course of time being both disproved and developed.
In her recent work, Carla Tsampiras (2014) investigated the way AIDS was discussed in South Africa at the end of 20th century. She paid attention mainly to the political perspective of the issue during the transition and based her work on the stories of two men who fought with biased views of the government to support vulnerable communities.
The countries of South Africa were affected by homophobia that led to the moral panic in the 1980s. Medico-scientific and political leaders who worked in America and Britain were claimed to influence and streamline politicization of homosexuality in this region. Soon homosexuality became tightly connected with AIDS in the eyes of the public. Such fear and prejudice were spreading quickly after the report made by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Government departments and ministers formed people’s relations towards this issue by influencing research and responses about it.
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As a result, negative views and attitudes shared in parliament got leaked to the population. Even being considered as illegal unities, gay organizations were created to support vulnerable populations. They cooperated with AIDS education organizations to make the public aware of this problem and its peculiarities. Still, individuals were greatly discriminated because of their HIV status and sexual orientation. Politicians divided gay males into two groups (white and black) on the basis of their status. A threat of police and military violence was faced by many homosexual males declared to be black while those named white could be even supported.
However, no decent help was received from the government by these populations. All steps towards improvement were made by the homosexual organizations, including a gay doctors’ group. They wanted to be sure that people were up to date with HIV news. With the course of time, a National Law Reform Fund was created. It was meant to support gay males and address AIDS. The HIV Clinic started to work even though it was not legally integrated for some time. Because of political intervention, the public associated sexuality, race and AIDS for a long time, being unable to overcome stereotypes.
I believe that such view on the problem is true to life and support this perspective of discussing AIDS. Politics really have the power to control the information received by the population. Their attitudes are often undertaken by the public without any decent consideration. In this case, it resulted in discrimination and lack of sufficient treatment. The division of gays on whites and blacks seems to be a tool to manipulate people and distract them from a real problem known as AIDS.
In their work, Rennie, Siedner, Tucker, & Moodley (2015) discussed HIV/AIDS treatment in ethical perspective. The authors emphasized that scientists started to talk about curing HIV rather often even though it is considered to be untreatable and only measures for prevention and control are really proven to exist. They tend to believe that the global mass media bases such claims on the cases observed several years ago. Thus, a man who had a stem-cell transplant and a child who received anti-retroviral treatment soon after being born were claimed to have no HIV/AIDS detected. Professionals tend to speak about these cases as of remarkable clinical developments, but Rennie et al. (2015) question such approach.
The authors conducted a great research discussing the issue in philosophical, ethical and historical point of view. They pay attention to ‘functional’ and ‘sterilizing’ cure in relation to epidemic problems that were not previously considered along with HIV/AIDS but seemed to be more appropriate for such conditions as cancer. It is underlined that the concept of cure is not as simple as it is mainly perceived in biomedical terms that are analyzed apart from the social and psychological aspects of the health problem.
Having conducted their own investigation, professionals came up with the decision that it is unethical to talk about HIV cure both in general and when discussing previously described cases. They believe that HIV/AIDS stakeholders may utilize the concept of the cure for their own benefit. The fact of curing HIV in individual situations they offer to treat as remission. Still, they do not deny that the work ‘cure’ can be used. The thing is that the context should be not the clinical one.
Personally I totally agree with the perspective presented by Rennie and his colleagues. The general public is likely to believe in a kind of medicine that can easily release all people form HIV/AIDS when they hear a word ‘cure’. As such remedy does not exist, it would be better to prevent possible dissatisfaction with healthcare services because of misunderstanding and not to misinform the population that can fall into a trap of individuals looking for easy pickings. I also agree that the usage of this concept outside the clinical context may alter people’s attitudes towards HIV-positive individuals. Still, the mishmash might occur due to such complications. Thus, I believe that it would be better if the concept of ‘HIV cure’ would not be used at all before a real cure is really found.
Significance for the Profession of Nursing
The discussed issue holds significance for the profession of nursing. First of all, it is critical for them to know about HIV/AIDS, their prevention, and treatment to educate and treat patients with such diagnosis and ensure safely of the community. Except for that, nurses are to address their clients as ethically as possible. They should know ethical principles to conduct professional behavior. They are expected not to make promises that they will not keep, which requires a decent knowledge of the issue. Finally, nurses should be responsible for their physical safety, which presupposes knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission.
HIV/AIDS is the problem discussed by both the media and medical experts. They tend to have some similar views on this issue. For example, they believe that AIDS is a serious health problem that can be only prevented and controlled. It is mainly spread among African American males who are engaged in homosexual relations. The number of people with AIDS fails to be significantly reduced, and the epidemic can be stopped only with substantial funding. Still, the media tends to present the information in the way that appeals to the general public more.
The information is often exaggerated and is not supported by scientific works, which makes it less authoritative. AIDS is often presented as a problem faced only by misfits and the issue that is of everybody’s concern at the same time. The professional nursing literature focuses more on the explanation of trends while the media reports provide facts. It also has numerous references that support the discussed position. Professionals describe AIDS as other health issues without dramatizing. Unlike the media, they underline not the drawbacks but achievements.
Taking into consideration everything mentioned, it seems to be critical to involve healthcare professionals in the process of active education the general public about AIDS. Education programs should be implemented to explode myths about HIV/AIDS and its transmission. The rights of people with HIV/AIDS should be ensured as many people still follow stereotypes. Nutrition security policies should be implemented to reduce risks of being infected.
Duberman, M. (2016). AIDS is still a huge problem. Web.
Paddock, C. (2016). HIV/AIDS countries worst affected need ‘up-front finance’ for long-term fight. Web.
Rennie, S., Siedner, M., Tucker, J., & Moodley, K. (2015). The ethics of talking about ‘HIV cure’. BMC Medical Ethics, 16(1), 18.
Taylor, D. (2016). Are we close to an HIV/AIDS cure? Web.
Tsampiras, C. (2014). Two tales about illness, ideologies, and intimate identities: Sexuality politics and AIDS in South Africa, 1980–95. Medical History, 58(2), 230-256.