Psychological Effects Of HIV

1375 Words 6 Pages
Few things are as devastating as disease or terminal illness. Several diseases have made an appearance or re-emergence over the last couple of decades – HIV being among the most prevalent and devastating. HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, “is a chronic infectious disease passed from one person to another through blood-to-blood or sexual contact” (Hoeger, Hoeger, Hoeger, & Fawson, 2015). HIV was originally formed in chimpanzees in Central Africa, and spread to humans through infected blood (What is HIV/AIDS?, 2015). Once the virus has entered into the body, it replicates and attacks and kills white blood cells. This causes a drastic decrease of the body’s ability to fight of infection.
The low immune system presence leaves plenty of room for opportunistic diseases – “Infections that arise in the
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During this time, the psychological effects are still overwhelming. Stress is likely to increase as loss of social support, employment, managing medication, grief of loss, and discrimination take place (Mental Health, 2014). Since there is much stigma attached to HIV/AIDS, the person will suffer from harsh judgement from most people. Loss of social normalcy will lead to feelings of isolation. It is normal to grieve after discovering the disease because of the societal stigma. The person has to now take up a complicated and varied health routine in order to combat the spread of the virus, all with varied symptoms.
If the virus is caught too late, and the person is now in the final stages of HIV, the person might have to come to grip with their mortality sooner than normal. The person might feel anger or depression at the realization of their predicament. The person is likely to suffer from a host of disorders including anxiety and mood disorders. The person will struggle with the choice of telling people of their condition or keeping it a secret as to avoid any social

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