Human estimated that in 2015, 36.7 million

Published: 2020-07-23 19:30:05
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Human immunodeficiency virus also known as HIV, is an immune system disease that destroys the white blood cells which fight against infections, and puts you at risk/makes you vulnerable for serious infections and certain cancers. AIDS which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, is the final stage of HIV but not everyone with HIV develops AIDS.
HIV/AIDS came to public health attention on June 5, 1981, when the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC, now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) published a short report entitled Pneumocystis Pneumonia-Los Angeles” describing an unusual form of
pneumonia in five unrelated homosexual men, two of whom had already died.
The scale of the human immunodeficiency virus has exceeded all expectations since its identification. Since the beginning of the global epidemic in the early 1980s, approximately 78 million people have been infected with HIV, of whom some 35 million have died. Globally, an estimated 36 million people are currently living with HIV, and some 20 million people have already died .It is estimated that in 2015, 36.7 million people globally were living with HIV (40 percent unknowingly), 2.1 million became newly infected (150,000 of them children) and 1.1 million people died of HIV-associated disease”.
In 2016, an estimated 1.8 million individuals worldwide became newly infected with HIV, about 5,000 new infections per day. These include children younger than age 15 most infected by their HIV/AIDS-positive mothers during pregnancy, breastfeeding and childbirth. The pandemic has been devastating for many nations where it has caused deep poverty both to the individual, families and community. It became obvious that most people living with HIV would eventually succumb to AIDS, with a period of about ten years between infection and disease. Survival with AIDS was predominantly less than two years, and even lower in environments where medical care was weak. Currently, there are people who are unaware they are living with HIV/AIDS and need to access HIV testing services.
Just as the spread of HIV has been greater than predicted, so has its influence on social capital, population structure and economic growth. In 2010, President Obama created the USA’s first National HIV/AIDS Strategy. This was updated in 2015, to run until 2020, and is structured around four core aims: reducing new HIV infections, increasing access to care and improving health outcomes for people living with HIV, reducing HIV-related disparities and health inequities and achieving a co-ordinated national response to the epidemic.” This has changed the way the American people talk about HIV, prioritize and organize HIV prevention and care services locally, and deliver clinical and other related services that support people living with HIV and encourage their engagement in treatment and care.
Discovery of the virus led to the development of a blood test to detect HIV infection, allowing protection of the blood supply for transfusion, as well as testing and counseling of infected persons, studies of HIV natural history and disease, diagnosis of persons with AIDS.
HIV/AIDS creates a profound burden for public finances, especially in the sector of health. In a number of Caribbean countries, HIV/AIDS patients take up as many as a quarter of existing hospital beds (Green, 2011).
Another impact of HIV is the stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS. Apart from having to endure treatment with severe side-effects, they constantly have to deal with rejection and discrimination. Parents in many school districts sought to exclude infected students, fearing for the health of their own children. Employers, worried about on-the-job contact, sought to fire workers who had AIDS, often acting with the support of other employees. Landlords attempted to evict tenants who were suffering from the disease, and even medical orderlies, nurses, and doctors at times refused to care for AIDS patients.” This hinders their efforts to seek treatment and management.
In the fight against HIV/AIDS there are many opinions as to who plays the bigger role. In fact the government and non-government organizations both play very important roles and measuring who plays a bigger role may be difficult to determine. The role of the federal government may include; research to evaluate new prevention methods such as vaccines, microbicides, and long-acting formulations of pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP and to improve the efficient and effective delivery of HIV prevention, care, and treatment.
In addition, the Federal government supports a range of services that are essential for reducing risk behavior and making it possible for people living with HIV to be maintained in HIV medical care and treatment. These include substance abuse treatment and other behavioral
health services, housing assistance, transportation, and other services shown to address risks associated with HIV transmission or interfere with the ability of people living with HIV to achieve viral suppression.
Capable governments have also been requested to make contributions into the global funds which will assist in the fight against HIV/AIDS in developing countries. Donor Countries such as the United States have been on the forefront in fighting of HIV/AIDS in low and middle income countries where the pandemic has hit really hard. For example, the government of the United States made a breakthrough initiative when it came up with the United States president’s Emergency Relief for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). This organization has played significant roles in the world through funding of projects of improvement of treatment and care of HIV patients.
A number of states implemented HIV-specific criminal exposure laws in the United States after it was identified. These laws impose criminal penalties on people living with HIV who know their HIV status and who potentially expose others to HIV. Recently the governor of California signed a legislation that stated that it will no longer be a felony in California to knowingly expose a sexual partner to HIV with the intent of transmitting the virus. The law previously punished people by up to eight years in prison. The new legislation will lower jail time to a maximum of six months.
The new law will also eliminate the penalty for knowingly donating HIV-infected blood. This action is a felony under current law and was decriminalized in January. Supporters of the change argue that the previous law was antiquated because all donated blood is tested for HIV.
The global epidemic is slowly declining but remains the world’s leading infectious disease challenge, affecting sub Saharan Africa most intensely. Research has so far not solved the major challenges of providing an effective vaccine/cure. Nonetheless, the unfinished story of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, despite being a great tragedy, is an inspiring one. HIV/AIDS and the response to it have irreversibly transformed global health and the world.

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