Crises and conflict (Fight against HIV/AIDS) - Essay Example

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Introduction HIV refers to Human immunodeficiency virus while AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. HIV causes AIDS which is a medical condition where a person’s immune system is too weak to fight off infections. HIV virus is transmitted from person to person through the exchange of body fluids such as blood, semen, breast milk and vaginal secretions…
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Crises and conflict (Fight against HIV/AIDS)
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Download file to see previous pages It is at the point of very advanced HIV infection that a person is said to have AIDS. Patients with HIV/AIDS have over the years experienced stigmatization and discrimination due to their condition. In many health conditions stigma is receiving increasing attention. According to Goffman (1990) stigma is an undesirable or discrediting attribute, reducing an individual’s status in the eyes of society. Aggleton et al. (2006) argue that stigma must be regarded as a social process in which people out of fear of the disease want to maintain social control by contrasting those who are normal with those who are different. Stigma and discrimination produce thus social inequality. Stigma exists when elements of labelling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination occur together in a power situation that allows them (Link & Phelan 2001, p.377). AIDS related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS. They can result in being shunned by family, peers and the wider community; poor treatment in healthcare and education settings; an erosion of rights and psychological damage. This can negatively affect the success of testing and treatment. AIDS stigma and discrimination exist worldwide, although they manifest themselves differently across countries, communities, religious groups and individuals. They occur alongside other forms of stigma and discrimination, such as racism, homophobia or misogyny and can be directed towards those involved in what are considered socially unacceptable activities such as prostitution or drug use. Types of Stigma There are various types of HIV/Aids related stigma and discrimination and this include the government, family, community, employment, health care, and restrictions on travel and stay. under the government a country’s laws, rules and policies regarding HIV can have a significant effect on the lives of people living with the virus. Discriminatory practices can alienate and ostracise people living with HIV, reinforcing the stigma surrounding the disease. In 2010, UNAIDS reported that 71% of countries now have some form of legislation in place to protect people living with HIV from discrimination. There are many ways that governments can actively discriminate against people or communities with (or suspected of having) HIV/AIDS. Many of these laws have been justified on the grounds that the disease poses a public health risk. For instance in Uganda President Museveni supports the national policy of dismissing or not promoting members of the armed forces who test HIV position. Many countries also have laws that restrict the entry, stay and residence of people living with HIV. Foreigners with HIV positive status can be deported due to their status, while students living with HIV are barred from applying to study in certain countries Deportation of people living with HIV has potentially life threatening consequences if they have been taking antiretroviral drugs and are deported to a country that has limited treatment provision, as this could lead to drug resistance and death. Alternatively, people living with HIV may face deportation to a country where they would be subject to even further discrimination. In healthcare ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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