Social Issues Confronting the Aids/Hiv Population

Marlena Hood Social issues confronting the AIDS/HIV population. BSHS 302/Hilton Team A- 10/19/2010 AIDS stands from acquired immune deficiency syndrome. AIDS is called by a virus called HIV that is the human immunodeficiency virus. If one were to be infected with HIV their body naturally will try to fight the infection by making special molecules called “antibodies. ” A blood test for HIV looks for these antibodies and if one had them in their blood that would make them positive for the HIV infection. HIV positive is different than AIDS.
HIV will wear down your immune system slowly as viruses, parasite, bacteria, and fungi can easily make you sick since your immune system is damaged. Most people with the HIV virus get infected by having intercourse with an infected person, sharing needles with someone who has the virus, or by being born by a mother who was infected or drinking breast milk from an infected woman. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 to 1. 2 million residents of the United States are living with the HIV infection or AIDS.Out of this population, a quarter of them do not know that they have it and about 75 percent of 40,000 new infection each year are in males while about 25 percent are in females. In the mid 1990s, the leading cause of death was by AIDS. But as technology grew so did newer treatments which cut the death rate for AIDS by a significant amount.
A lot of people do not know they are infected by HIV. A lot of people just think it’s the flu. It can cause some people to get headaches, have sore muscles or joints, stomach aches, fever, swollen lymph glands, skin rashes for up to two weeks. There are even some people who don’t have any symptoms.The virus multiplies in the body for a few weeks or even months before the immune system even has the chance to respond. During this time, the body doesn’t test positive for HIV but it is still contagious. When the immune system does respond this is when it starts to make antibodies and you will test positive for HIV.

After the flu-like symptoms stage, people with HIV can stay healthy for years but during this time HIV is damaging the immune system. Cell counts decrease and signs of HIV disease will encounter like fevers, diarrhea, night sweats, or swollen lymph nodes which will could last several weeks.The HIV disease becomes AIDS when the immune system is severely damaged. AIDS-related diseases can include major weight loss, brain tumors, and other health problems. Without proper treatment, infections can kill you. Sadly, there is no cure for AIDS. There are drugs that slow down the process of the HIV virus and slow down the damage to the immune system.
There are also many social issues that deals with AIDS and the HIV epidemic. There are two sides to AIDS and HIV. There are people who support people who have this and there are people who oppose it and look down on people who have AIDS and HIV.The people who oppose AIDS have fear and anxiety about AIDS and HIV. They may fear if they are around people whom have the disease that they may get it themselves. They may look down on them or judge them because a lot of people think the majority of people with AIDS are homosexual and get the disease from sleeping with a person of the same sex. A lot of people do not agree with the life style so they may look down on them and judge them based on their beliefs.
AIDS did come about in the 1980’s when the first isolated gay man became ill from strange ailments and then passed away five years later.During these five years, all kinds of different institutions got together to research but failed. AIDS was quickly referred to the “gay disease” after this. In 1981, the Center for Disease Control, published a report stating that gays were not the most beloved minority in or out of the medical world and then they minimized their link to homosexuality. After this the Reagan Administration cut down on the budget and grants toward the National Institutions of Health leaving a lot of AIDS research proposals and projects unfinished due to lack of money.In April of 1982, media attention was drawn to the “gay cancer” and at this time Congressman Henry Waxman gave a generous donation toward Legionnaire’s disease to the minimal attention and funding given to AIDS. He stated “What society judged was not the severity of the disease but the social acceptability of the individuals affected with it .
. . . I intend to fight any effort by anyone at any level to make public health policy . . . on the basis of his or her personal prejudices regarding other people’s sexual preferences or life-styles.
After his speech, it slowly led to increased federal funding for AIDS research but a lot of people had already died. Both the media and the government largely ignored the AIDS epidemic. A lot of it had to do with the issues that AIDS brought up and the judgment. Initial reports showed that it was a disease of sexually active homosexual males but when AIDS started showing up with heterosexual males this showed that this was a myth. First a lot of people denied it because of the fact that experts blamed this incurable disease on gay men.This fear brought straight people avoid homosexuals and out cast them because they didn’t want to get their disease. As time went on, more heterosexuals got the disease but still to this day, a lot of people still have misconceptions about AIDS and HIV because they are not educated on it and a lot of people do not like to talk about it because it brings up issues and people are divided with their different views and misconceptions.
But there is more literature and knowledge then there was back then that we have now. A lot of people are educated and a lot of people are being more careful about what they are doing to not catch this disease. . .

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