Problems of Illness and Health Care e. Providing education that advocates condom use and providing youth with access to condoms are controversial topics. (1) Many conservatives believe that promoting use of condoms sends the “wrong message” that sex outside marriage is OK. (a) Under the Bush administration, federal support for “abstinence-only” education programs, which promote abstinence without teaching basic facts about contraception or providing access to contraception, has expanded rapidly. (b) Abstinence-only programs are criticized for failing to provide youth with potentially life-saving information. (c) 80% of the abstinence-only curricula contains false, misleading, or distorted information about reproductive health. (2) Another controversy involves the question of whether to provide condoms to prison inmates. (a) Vermont, Mississippi, Canada, most of Western Europe, and parts of Latin America allow condom distribution in prison. (b) A deputy at the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which allows only homosexual inmates to receive condoms, stated, “We’re not promoting sex; we’re promoting health. 3. HIV Testing a. Another strategy to curb the spread of HIV involves encouraging individuals to get tested for HIV so that they can modify their behavior to avoid transmitting the virus and so they can receive early medical intervention, which can slow or prevent the onset of AIDS. (1) An estimated one-fourth to one-third of HIV-infected Americans do not know they are infected. (2) About half of Americans report every having been tested for HIV b. Many individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV infection continue to engage in risky behaviors, such as unprotected anal, genital, or oral sex and needle sharing. 4. The Fight Against HIV/AIDS Stigma and Discrimination a. The HIV/AIDS stigma stems from societal views that people with HIV/AIDS are immoral and shameful. b. The stigma associated with HIV/AIDS results in discrimination that can lead to loss of employment and housing, social ostracism and rejection, and lack of access to medical care. (1) A survey of 1,000 physicians and nurses in Nigeria found that 1 in 10 admitted to refusing care for an HIV/AIDS patient or had denied HIV/AIDS patients admission to a hospital. (2) 20 percent in the survey believed that people living with HIV/AIDS have behaved immorally and deserved their fate. c. The stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS has also led to acts of violence against people perceived to be infected with HIV. d. The HIV/AIDS stigma can deter people from getting tested for the disease, can make them less likely to acknowledge their risk of infection, and can discourage those who are HIVpositive from discussing their HIV status with their sexual and needle-sharing partners. (1) Former South African president Nelson Mandela’s announcement in 2005 that his son had died of AIDS was a public attempt to fight the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
Published on Jan 13, 2017
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