According to AVERT, one of the major effects of the disease is that persons with AIDS are prevented from having children because the disease could be passed on to their children. Also, the prospect of marriage is not advisable because the disease could be passed on to their partners. People with HIV often experiences separation from their families due to the possible transmission of the disease. Effect of AIDS-related stigma to people living with AIDS/HIV People with AIDS live in shame due to the stigma.
They are afraid to seek help and treatment which prevent them form early medical interventions to prevent complications of the disease. This results to more serious health conditions because they are not treated immediately and properly. Furthermore, they may risk transmitting the disease to other people. This makes AIDS a silent killer. Many deaths caused by AIDS remain undetected. Also, people may develop withdrawal from the society. The people living with AIDS develop low self-esteem and depression. The people do not get the much needed emotional support that they would need with dealing with the disease.
Also these prevent government and other agencies from helping them and preventing the spread of the disease. Effect of stigma to the prevention of the AIDS/HIV The stigma associated with AIDS remains as a big hindrance in the prevention and treatment of the disease. Moreover, the stigma prevents the proper surveillance and statistics of the disease in a certain community or region. If the disease remains unnoticed, it would be harder to manage and address the problems of this disease. The stigma also prevents the people to accept the increasing occurrence of the disease.
If people keep on blaming the individuals with the disease instead of analyzing the situation objectively, then addressing the problem of AIDS in the community would be much harder. Summary AIDS is considered as the most dreaded disease of or generation. It is a chronic, life-threatening disease that affects the host’s own immune system. Despite the advances in medicine and technology, this disease still remains untreated. AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease. Other common sexually transmitted diseases include Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. In the United States, Chlamydia is the most common bacterial STD infection reported.
It is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. On the other hand, the second most frequently reported STD is the gonorrhea, caused by the microorganism Neisseria gonorhoeae. Meanwhile, syphilis is a sexually transmitted chronic infection with different stages of severity. According to statistics on the occurrence of AIDS, the African Americans are at high risk of having AIDS. In the US, they make up 50% of the reported cases of infection in 2001. Based from researches, 1 in 160 African American women are infected with HIV, while in African American men is 1 in 50.
One of the methods of transmission of the disease is through the use of needles and drug abuse. For African American women, forty-two percent with HIV infection is attributed to injection drug use since the epidemic started. Meanwhile, two of the most common exposure categories for African American men are: having sex with men (37%) and injection drug use (34%). The minority of infections comes from heterosexual exposure (8%). High-risk population for AIDS includes African Americans, together with the Hispanics and other ethnic/racial groups. This could be attributed individual behavior and the racial discrimination.
Stigmas associated with AIDS/HIV are the discriminations and prejudices toward the people who have AIDS and toward the groups or communities they are involved with. Stigma is one of the barriers that prevent the proper treatment and prevention of the disease. Stigmas developed from the societies’ fear of the disease and of the immoralities associated with its transmission. The most common stigma associated with the disease includes homosexuality, prostitution, gender stereotypes, and drug abuse. Men who have HIV are often viewed as homosexuals, and homosexuality is viewed as a taboo in most cultures.
Meanwhile, women with AIDS are often branded as prostitutes or they are women who have multiple sexual relationships and they are negatively judged by their society. Drug abuse is also usually associated with people with AIDS. They are viewed as immoral people that only deserve what they got due to their carefree and immoral lifestyles. This makes people with AIDS commonly blamed for their disease condition. Instead of the understanding and support from their community, they are shunned and discriminated. The society somehow uses these stigmas to make an excuse for discriminating people with AIDS/HIV.
Due to these stigmas people with AIDS are often discriminated in their workplace. Their peers have fear of being infected of AIDS from people with AIDS. Problems with job termination and unemployment are common for people with AIDS. Even in the government and health facilities, there is discrimination against AIDS. These agencies that are supposedly responsible for their protection and care are also contributors to their problems. Many laws that prevent the spread of AIDS discriminate against people that already have the disease. Also, there are health care facilities that are not equipped for treating the disease.
They often reject persons seeking treatment. Moreover, there is a problem with confidentiality in small hospitals. Thus, many fear of seeking treatment for their disease. Furthermore, many healthcare professionals choose not to get involved with people with AIDS. These health care personnel lack the proper training and knowledge on managing the disease. Persons with AIDS are often discriminated in their society. Also, they are prevented from having children and from marrying because they could pass the disease to their partners and children.
Another discrimination would be toward the families of AIDS victims, specifically their children. These children are unwanted by the society and problems concerning their care and education could arise. Stigmas and discrimination prevent people from consulting about AIDS. Moreover, people are scared to ask help and treatment for the management of the disease. They do not get the medical and emotional support they need with dealing with the disease. Moreover, this prevents government and other agencies from helping them and from preventing the spread of AIDS. References
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