Inhuman history, there have been diseases that have major impacts onthe society. Some of these diseases are considered as both health andsocial problems. Every individual in any community has substantialinformation regarding human immunodeficiency virus (). The natureinfection, impact, and pathogenesis of this virus make it one of thedangerous pathogens in human history. The virus causes a conditionknown as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Everyone fearsgetting infected with the virus since most members of the societyperceive that it changes everything in one’s life. Some peoplebelieve that the disease is a sure death ticket. The virus is aglobal problem and a threat to humanity due to the lack of treatmentthat eliminates it completely from the body. & AIDS havewidespread impacts on that society that touches every aspect of humanlife. This paper purposes to discuss various aspects of the diseasefrom an individual, society, and global perspective.
Whenan individual gets infected with , the virus spreads throughoutthe body through blood circulation system. This mechanism enables thevirus to infect nearly all cells of the body. Once it infects a cell,it becomes part of it by combining with the genetic material of thecell. Its detection becomes difficult because the way it mimics bodycells makes it nearly impossible for immune cells to identify it asforeign. The virus may remain in an inactive state for years makingit difficult for an individual to know he/she is infected beforetaking a blood test. Most people who are infected with the virus arehealthy and can stay for a long duration without exhibiting symptoms.They only have but not AIDS.
Whenthe virus becomes active in the body, it suppresses the immunesystem, making the body vulnerable to any disease that it could haveeliminated easily in the absence of the virus. At this state,infected individuals can die from any disease to which they areexposed. Once it is active, the primary targets of are CD4+lymphocytes and monocytes/macrophages. These cells functions in thedetection and destruction of foreign materials in the body such asbacteria, viruses, and other infectious agents. The virus makes theseimmune cells ineffective in performing their functions. Therefore,the body becomes unable to respond effectively to disease-causingagents once infected, leading to a condition referred to as AIDS.This situation creates a good chance for opportunistic diseasespneumonia, TB, cancer, neurological and psychiatric problems.
Extent of the Problem
WHOconsiders as a major global public health problem. Since thedetection of the virus in the 1980s, has caused more than 35million deaths. 1.1 million individuals died due to -relatedproblems in 2015. WHO estimated that 36.7 million people wereinfected with the virus by the end of 2015. There were 2.1 millionnew infections worldwide. The management of the disease becomes easywhen people know their status. About 60% of the world populationknows their status. Over 18 million -positive people wereunder the antiretroviral treatment (WHO, 2016). Within a period of 15years from 2015, new infection cases have reduced by 35% and-related motility reduced by 28%.
Over1.2 million people are infected with in the United States ofAmerica. New infections fell by 19% from 2005 to 2014. There were12333 deaths caused by and related causes (CDC, 2016).
Etiology and Risk Factors
Thevirus is transmitted from one person to another through the exchangeof some body fluid. Blood is the main fluid that contains a highviral load. Other body fluids that have enough viral load to infectanother people are semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. The virusmay enter the bloodstream are through injection, epithelial lining ofanus and genitals, the lining of the mouth and eyes, cuts and sores(Alspach, 2013). Human interactions that permit the exchange of thebody fluids that contain enough viral loads put individuals at riskof being infected in case the interaction involves someone who isinfected. Sexual intercourse is the main way infected people transmitthe virus to uninfected individuals. Pregnant women can pass thevirus to the fetus via the placenta.
Thetype of sex may increase or reduce the risk of infection. Vaginal sexhas a lower risk of infection than anal sex due to the poorlubrication of the anus. Sharing sharp objects such as needles, razorblades and syringes with infected individuals increases the risk ofinfection. Sharing sex toys with -positive individual alsoincreases the chances of being infected. Having unprotected sex putsa person at the risk of contracting the virus. Drug addicts,especially those who inject themselves have high risks of infection.Healthcare workers may be at risk of infection when they neglectprecautions or experience failures of devices (Alspach, 2013).
Impacts of on the Population
Thishealth problem affects the society from the family level to thecommunity level in various ways. It has some demographic impacts dueto the death of specific age groups. /AIDS contributes topremature deaths. According to Kalemli-Ozcan (2012), the majority ofinfection occurs in individuals in their twenties or thirties. Inmost cases, infected people die within a period of ten years. Thisphenomenon may result in changes in the population pyramid of a givensociety with narrowing base of young people and children. It alsoreduces life expectancy.
Socialimpacts of /AIDS range from family, gender, education, to humandevelopment. The family members may experience physical andpsychological problems when one of them becomes infected with or dieof AIDS. Those who become infected need care, forcing otherindividuals in the family to leave economic activities to providecare. Family roles also change. Losing one or both parents affectsthe entire life of children. Children depend on their parents forsocial, economic, and psychological support. A gap is created whentheir parents are no more. Mothers and fathers cannot address theirparenthood responsibilities effectively when they are ill (Sherret al., 2014).
epidemic has reduced the supply of teachers in worst-affectedcountries. This condition has reduced access to quality education.Since education is a key pillar of social and economic development,the human development index has fallen in countries worst affected bythe epidemic. Since most of the resources are channeled towards themanagement of the epidemic, there are some economic activities thatreceive inadequate resources. Youths who are economically active arereducing in number in workplaces. These happenings retard theeconomic growth of the society (Bor, Tanser, Newell &Bärnighausen, 2012). Governance is also adversely affected by/AIDS.
Sincethere is no cure for , the best way of managing it is bypreventing infection. There are a number of strategies employed toprevent infection. One of the methods is through the reaction ofawareness about the epidemic in the society. Education equips membersof the society with information such as ways of transmission and theimportance of getting tested. People can also know risking behaviorsthat may result in the contraction of the virus. Abstinence from sexalso prevents infection with the virus. Another method of preventing infection is through the promotion of the use of condoms duringsex. Condoms prevent the exchange of body fluids during intercourse(McFarland et al., 2012).
Thegovernment has allocated resources to manage the epidemic. Asignificant portion of the national budget is set aside foractivities aimed at fighting the disease. The media is key resourceand stakeholder in the management of infection. There areresearch institutions such as the CDC that are tasked with conductingstudies aimed at finding a vaccine for .
Ethical Issues Surrounding the Prevention of Infection
Thepromotion of the use of condoms during sex has raised a lot ofconcerns in the society. Opponents argue that encouraging the use ofcondoms is a way of encouraging people to increase their sexualactivities (Lotfi, Tehrani, Yaghmaei & Hajizadeh, 2012). Sex,except in marriage, is considered evil in most societies in theworld. The epidemic reduces sex-related sins. However, some people’sdesires sexual make them look down on the potential consequences ofhaving sex. They end up contracting the virus and spreading it.Proponents of the use of condoms argue that it is better to preventlosses associated with rather than upholding cultural valuessince the epidemic is a threat to humanity.
Thereare laws and policies implemented by both state and federalgovernments that have facilitated prevention interventions for .The federal government and 49 states have put in place testinglaws. States have implemented Medicaid programs to facilitate thereimbursement of routine screening of Americans between the ageof 15 and 65 years. States and the federal government encourage thereporting of CD4 and viral load data to promote surveillance(CDC, 2016). There are international laws that promote the preventionor reduction of this epidemic by promoting research and distributionof antiretroviral drugs. The International Consultations andInternational Guidelines on /AIDS and Human Rights is an exampleof global legal strategies for addressing /AIDS.
is among the viruses that have affected several aspects of humanlife. It has social, demographic and economic impacts on populationsof the world. As long as the virus exists in the society, it remainsto be a threat to humanity. The management of this epidemic requiresthe participation of all stakeholders in order to achieve success.
is different from AIDS. The former is a virus that suppresses theimmune system while the latter is a condition that results when thevirus becomes active. When infected individuals develop AIDS, theirbody becomes vulnerable to opportunities diseases. is mainlytransmitted through sexual intercourse. It affects the economic andsocial life of infected and affected people in a number of ways. Theuse of condoms has experience oppositions based on cultural values.Legislations are important in the prevention of infection.
Alspach, J. A (2013). Core curriculum for critical carenursing. St. Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier.
Bor, J., Tanser, F., Newell, M. L., & Bärnighausen, T. (2012).In a study of a population cohort in South Africa, patients onantiretrovirals had nearly full recovery of employment. HealthAffairs, 31(7), 1459-1469.
CDC (2016), and the Law, Retrieved fromhttps://www.cdc.gov/hiv/policies/law/,Accessed April 12, 2017
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McFarland, W., Chen, Y. H., Nguyen, B., Grasso, M., Levine, D.,Stall, R., … & Raymond, H. F. (2012). Behavior, intention orchance? A longitudinal study of seroadaptive behaviors,abstinence and condom use. AIDS and Behavior, 16(1),121-131.
Sherr, L., Cluver, L. D., Betancourt, T. S., Kellerman, S. E.,Richter, L. M., & Desmond, C. (2014). Evidence of impact: health,psychological and social effects of adult on children. Aids, 28,S251-S259.
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