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How Does HIV/Aids Affect People, Research Paper Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1834

Research Paper

Introduction

HIV/AIDS as an illness affects the individual first at the biological level actually in the form of a virus, which compromises immunity (UNAIDS 2006). Every illness represents a dramatic and unique negative experience for the respective patient. On the other hand, there is a psychological influence of HIV/AIDS on the people bringing in an effect in different age stages. This paper handles how HIV/AIDS affect people in different age stages (Turner et al, 2005). The topic of the study is of relevance in understanding human development and the social relations in the work place because it details some of the features incompetent to the disease and its influences on the individual as well as the society in general. From this study, it is possible to develop some of the pertinent issues relating to HIV/AIDS on aspects relating to human behavior and social environment. It is also much relevant in closing down the knowledge gap that still suppresses many interventions and programs on HIV/AIDS therefore remains as a relevant topic in human development and in the field of social work practice.

Literature Review

Psychologists conceptualize HIV/AIDS as developing based not only on person-to-person relationship but also the relations with the others and nature. They develop arguments that the disease develops with an influence from person’s psychological responses, the person’s experience with other pathologies, as well as the personality traits (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007). For instance, Miriam (2007) provides evidence in his study that patients suffering from personality disorders are the most vulnerable and at higher risk of contracting the HIV virus than the patient diagnosed with only clinical symptoms of the disease (Gallo, 2006). This is because the earlier, display little confidence in the individual ability to practice safer sexual practices, higher anxiety risking contracting HIV and little commitment to using condoms (Turner et al, 2005). There are few programs set to handle the issue of mental retarded people on promoting health and safety, making them more vulnerable (Ogden, 2005). The issue is of concern to the responsible parties because the epidemic spreads without a bias on the status of the mind or physical attributes (UNAIDS, 2006).

HIV-infected adults equally live in a social and cultural environment, experiencing the political and economic conditions like the other adults. In this complex situation, there are specific stages of development that people, regardless of their respective HIV status, go through. Developmental psychology is the discipline describing these stages, which are important in understanding the effect of HIV/AIDS on people’s lives (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007).

HIV/AIDS affect people while they are forming a couple and in the process of developing intimacy and trust. It also reaches to the stages when the respective person’s move towards parenthood (Ryder et al, 2006). For a certain period in the stages of life, the illness takes away an individual’s ability to work as well as zeal to keep a job, therefore, it affects the sense of individual’s productivity, security, and self-control of daily life (Miriam, 2007). Redefining identity when suffering the HIV/AIDS condition can be a big challenge for the person in the youth stage of life because it can come in as a contradiction with life goals including predetermined plans.

Sexuality is of necessity during adulthood and this is not a subject to criticize. However, with the adult suffering sexually transmitted disease such as HIV/AIDS, that is not curable, there is a great effect on the individual’s dynamics of sexual life (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007). Suffering from HIV can affect many other social relationships even at the work places because infected person need to make clear cut decisions regarding levels their HIV/AIDS diagnosis disclosure. Within the adult developmental stages, Ogden (2005) noted that the infected person with HIV moves through concurrent personal response psychological stages to finding out of the infection. These stages are similar to Ross’s stages of death resulting from HIV/AIDS infections (Ogden, 2005).

The individual HIV/AIDS illness, even if it is experienced subjectively as unique and isolating, for all time happens in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The HIV epidemic status may vary in looks from country to another or even between urban and rural areas but the fact is that the virus sits deeply in a person’s body of which he is the one to undergo the constrains and predicaments emanating from the disease (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007).

UNAIDS (2006)argues that HIV/AIDS surpasses in the adulthood developmental stages including age of establishment (20-30 years), age of consolidation (25-35 years), and the age of transition (~40 years). He says that these stages have respective and subjective influences on possibilities of contracting the disease as the individual develops (Ryder et al, 2006). He however adds that the respective stages are subject to the external environment, that is, the society. Ryder et al (2006) argues that becoming HIV infected as well as coping with the disease should not be totally an individual’s responsibility. This is because everyone’s life unfolds in a society as well as in a social context generating circumstances for risk environments (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007).

Individual development is therefore pertinent to external issue brought forth by the environment in the wider society. These external factors make the individual less or more susceptible to HIV infection and remains at risk for higher mortality and morbidity (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007). Discrimination and stigma within the same society are channels funneling the spread of the epidemic raise obstacles to methods of preventing and treating the disease and poses as a challenge to other interventions. This therefore is an enemy of human development and compromises social practice in the society subject to creating biasness and subjective handling of HIV/AIDS cases (Miriam, 2007).

The data available on HIV/AIDS regarding the epidemic and its influences generalizes concepts. Assumptions made in the research findings on HIV/AIDS indicate that the researches rely on generalizations. It is apparent that the disease did not just shoot up and affected human beings (Gallo, 2006). There are more details regarding the disease, its inception and the influences it has on people in various stages of life. Assuming these aspects brings down the retrogressive research and reduces its effectiveness of application. In the event of assisting HIV infected patient within the social work setting, health care providers have a mandate to consider these preceding aspects (Turner et al, 2005).

There is a wide spread bias in the existing researches on HIV/AIDS. Many of the researches apply in the concept of concentrating on people who only contract the disease through sexual intercourse. Many other means exist of contracting HIV/AIDS that feature as a worry for many individuals Peter, R. et al. (2006). In the social practice, it is apparent that the knowledge on respective means of contracting the disease is of relevance to help handle issues including educating people on the epidemic. Without a clear evaluating and a wholesome approach on the disease, there is a surviving knowledge that limits interventions on promoting healthy human development (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007).

The available research on HIV/AIDS has major limitations on the issue pertaining to ethical conducts. The researches limit the study to general populations; they are restrained from personal experiences. Ethical issues covering the medical grounds and individual rights, prevent a wholesome coverage and first hand information on HIV/AIDS from individuals. There are therefore limitations on pertinent issues lacking a clear-cut definition and exploration of the epidemic in the social practice (Ryder et al, 2006).

Implications of findings for social work practice

Peter et al. (2006) argues, “An epidemic provides a revelation of many of the stresses, fractures, and strains within a given society.” Among these aspects, it is possible to enumerate long-term societal structural inequalities as well as inequities including inequities in distribution of wealth and income, poverty, social class polarization, social justice levels, education, and ethnicity (UNAIDS, 2006; Ryder et al, 2006; Miriam, 2007). It is also possible to verify other aspects including social cohesion and social order relevant in handling the epidemic. In the context of HIV/AIDS, it is through the research findings that these developments feature (Miriam, 2007). The findings can develop better understanding of the epidemic hitting many areas globally and help incorporate strategies of measuring up to the expected interventions required to control the influence of the epidemic on individuals in the social setting (Ryder et al, 2006). The social work practice incorporates HIV/AIDS patients who undergo same situations as illustrated in the research findings meaning that the findings are relevant in establishing the way forward for corporate and other organizations in promoting cohesion in work places regardless of the epidemic influences (Gallo, 2006).

Discussion and conclusion

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has spread across all life aspects and has major influences on people’s development in different stages (Turner et al, 2005). In the social work practice, there are issues related to the disease provoking measures of handling such issues (Gallo, 2006). The research findings are adequate and relevant for closing down the gaps in services provision and open up areas when services are inadequate to promote equity and equality (Miriam, 2007). It is with the proper implications from the study that HIV/AIDS programs will feature as a success through improving on the weaknesses of already established programs in handling the disease and promoting the strengths to give the programs a go ahead in tackling the epidemic and its influences in individual development.

The research findings also portray and suggest some of the interventions required to influence human growth and development positively by handling limitations of the two aspects emanating from improper approach of HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2006). However, the research findings incorporate subjective analysis that might be of hindrance to effective human development within the social practice (Ryder et al, 2006). The findings describe the severity of the disease and close the information gap on the modes of contracting the disease as well as demarcating the responsibilities of the pertinent parties (Turner et al, 2005). Decisions regarding HIV/AIDS diagnosis disclosure which the research findings ascribes to the individual pins down the individual development suppressing him to isolation rather than promoting proper development through social practice (Miriam, 2007).

References

Gallo, R.C. (2006). A reflection on HIV/AIDS research after 25 years. Retro virology 3(2) 72-89

Miriam, L. (2007). The Impact of HIV and AIDS on Children, Families and Communities: Risks  and Realities of Childhood during the HIV Epidemic. Retrieved May 12, 2007, from            http://www.undp.org/hiv/publications/issues/english/issue30e.html#Social%20and%20 Economic%20Contexts:%20Vu

Ogden, J. (2005). “Common at its core: HIV-related stigma across contexts” International Center for Research on Women. Retrieved June 22, 2005, from            http://www.icrw.org/docs/2005_report_stigma_synthesis.pdf

Peter, R. et al. (2006). The Global Challenge of HIV and AIDS. Population Bulletin 61, no. 1 (2006): 8-9.

Ryder, R.W. et al. (2006). Epidemiology of HIV infection in Africa. Journal of Acquired  Immune Deficiency Syndromes 1 (6): 551–558.

Turner, V.F. et al. (2005). A critique of the Montaigne evidence for the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. Medical Hypotheses 63 (4): 597–60.

UNAIDS, (2006). The impact of AIDS on people and societies. Report on the global AIDS epidemic. Retrieved November 30, 2006,  from http://data.unaids.org/pub/GlobalReport/2006/2006_GR_CH04_en.pdf

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