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HIV/AIDS AS A SOIAL STIGMA - Research Paper Example

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HIV/AIDS: A Social Stigma Name Institution Date HIV/AIDS: A Social Stigma The global society has been attacked and severely affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Although enhanced research has identified the overall nature and structure of the disease, the virus continues to ravage the society (Scanlon and Vreeman, 2013)…
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Download file to see previous pages... According to Nyblade et al (2003), AIDS was initially known as GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency) following the researchers’ notion that the disease was primarily limited to the gay community. This exposed the gay community to social stigma with most people suggesting that the only way to acquire the virus is through becoming or associating with the gay people. Even after the realization that the disease affects all sexual groupings, the stigma still remains the prominent obstacle towards prevention activities. Whether the stigma occurs in the form of homophobia across all populations or directed towards the gay community, it limits the HIV/AIDS prevention activities. AIDS Related Stigma This occurs in the form of discounting, discrediting, prejudice and discrimination towards people perceived to possess the disease. Logie et al (2013), associates the stigma with behaviors such as rejection and avoidance of people with HIV and AIDS as well as the affected, imposing compulsory testing without the consent of the victims, violence upon the victims and quarantine of persons with HIV/AIDS. Causes of HIV/AIDS Related Stigma The causes of the HIV related stigma are multiple and complex. The most crucial cause according to Mutalemwa et al (2009) is the possession of insufficient knowledge on HIV/AIDS, ignorance or fear towards the pandemic, moral judgments about people and assumptions related to their sexual behavior, use of illicit drugs and sex, fear of the perceived fate of the infected i.e. death, and the religious inclination that HIV/AIDS infection is a punishment from God. Types of Stigma Self-Stigma This refers to the process whereby people affected or infected with HIV/AIDS acquire the feelings of inferiority or unworthiness leading to attitudes such as self-hatred or inferiority (Mutalemwa et al, 2009). Self-stigma makes the victims lose their self esteem; making them to withdraw and isolate from the society. Self-stigma is highly intensive when the victim is diagnosed for the first time, possesses preconceived biased view towards HIV/AIDS, and has low self-esteem. Felt -stigma These are perceptions or feelings towards a certain group of people who are unique in relation to a certain respect e.g. people living with HIV/AIDS (Mutalemwa et al, 2009). Enacted Stigma These are the actions fuelled by the stigma, commonly referred to as discrimination. Effects of Social Stigma Stigma and discrimination discourages the willingness and the ability of the victims to adopt the necessary HIV/AIDS related preventive behaviors, seek treatment or providing support to people living with HIV/AIDS. Stigma would always prevent people from engaging in discussions related prevention such as safe sex or mother to child prevention (Logie et al, 2013). The utilization of the voluntary counseling and testing services is strained because people do not utilize them out of the fear of stigmatization. In severe instances, treatment services may also be withheld because of the notion that the victims are bound to die. Ethics Position Although new treatments and prevention programs have been established recently, successful prevention of HIV/AIDS can only be attained through fighting the social stigma. Effective prevention strategies are attained through the identification of the causes and type of stigma affecting the victims and applying the necessary measures necessary for overcoming the stigma towards the infected and affected people. Measures ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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