The Stigma And Treatment Of HIV In Australia

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Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a virus that weakens the immune system making the individual more susceptible to diseases and other viruses. Unlike most viruses the human immune system is unable to fight HIV and it may eventually lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS (MORE ON AIDS) (‘What Is HIV/AIDS?’ 2015). HIV cases in Australia is beginning to increase after a great reduction during the 1990’s and it is most common among men who have sex with men, this means that women affected by HIV/AIDS are not ----. The HIV rates in Somalia are reasonable low compared to neighbouring sub-Saharan countries and most common among the heterosexual couple as a result of sexual activity and due to unsafe healthcare facilities (‘Antiretroviral …show more content…
After thirty-years HIV still carries a great amount of stigma and discrimination around the world. This is due to the social groups who were first diagnosed with HIV being from gay men to intra-Venus drug user and the fact that these social groups already carried negative connotations in society (‘HIV & AIDS Stigma and Discrimination’, 12014). Women in particular are affected by stigma greatly. In Australia HIV was first seen in the 1980’s as a disease of gay men, it began with only men who have sex with men being affected. However, soon after in the same decade HIV was seen among a wide range of groups including women (Power, 2011). Currently women are one of the most vulnerable groups that are impacted on by HIV in Australia due to the HIV culture in Australia mainly being directed for men who have sex with men (Wilcock & Lennon, 2009). Leaving women out in the campaign and HIV awareness puts the notion that women should not be impacted upon by HIV. This makes HIV positive Australian women feel isolated and unheard, thus making it harder for them to disclose their condition to their community (Wilcock & Lennon, 2009). In addition, women are seen as the responsible partner in sex they have a great responsibility in protecting their own health during sex and thus carry a larger burden when diagnosed with …show more content…
The government spent money on not only treatment but also on educating individuals about the virus and how to protect them from as early as in high school. There is a significant amount of health promotion and HIV/AIDs awareness in the media (Power, 2012). All of this in addition to educating individuals and reducing the spread of the virus also reduces the stigma HIV positive people face. However while public awareness of HIV/AIDS is high in Australia the focus is on gay men, this leaves the women out and women feel like they are not at risk of HIV. They begin to believe that it’s a virus that only gay men should worry about. This puts them at a higher risk of contracting the virus, as they less likely to using condoms. Likewise, due to HIV being a problem of the 1980’s and less common in the 1990’s many young people adapt the idea that HIV is a problem of the past and they do not need to partake in safe sex practises thus putting them at a greater risk of the virus and explaining the increase in HIV among young people (‘STIs among young people in Australia: an overview’, 2013). Unlike Australia Somalia, relies on international aid programmes to step in and help with promoting HIV awareness. United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has intervened and is supporting Somalia to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. HIV positive individuals are very reluctant to disclose their

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