Hiv/Aids And Culture Essay

5370 words - 22 pages

HIV/AIDS is a devastating disease that has killed thousands of people all over the world. It is one of the most widespread and devastating epidemics we are currently dealing with. Many factors about this virus contribute to making it spread faster, become deadlier, and leaves no one unaffected. HIV/AIDS reaches the young and the old, the rich and the poor, and those in developed and undeveloped countries. Education about the virus and how it is approached to different people also affects how it is spread, several cultural factors come into play as to how effective it is in preventing future contraction of the virus. The cultural perceptions of the virus also affect how the virus is ...view middle of the document...

These activist groups improved the tones towards the gay community in the 80’s (Lovell, 2011, pg. 112). As more heterosexual individuals started to be diagnosed with AIDS more individuals started to take active roles in the education movement, this helped even further to better the relations between the two communities (Lovell, 2011, pg. 112).
HIV was first recognized as a separate, but causative, disease of AIDS a few years later from when AIDS was officially recognized in 1981, this was done in 1986 by a scientist named Dr. Robert Gallo as well as his accompanying associates (Gautaum, 2005, pg. 70). HIV/AIDS can be passed from person to person through body fluids coming into direct contact with the blood stream (Gautam, 2005, pg. 70). These body fluids most commonly include semen, vaginal secretions, blood, and saliva (Gautam, 2005, pg. 70). HIV can be passed prenatally to a fetus and AIDS can also be passed prenatally to a fetus, but infection is also possible for a new born though breastfeeding from an infected mother (Guatam, 2005, pg. 70). HIV/AIDS is also more likely to be passed to a woman than a man during intercourse because of several factors, the most major of them being that the delicate tissue inside the vagina is likely to be torn during the process of intercourse exposing it to the virus (Guatam, 2005, pg. 78).
A lot of people all over the world don’t know how HIV/AIDS is transmitted, and education about HIV/AIDS is attempted with limited success. If education was approached in a more culturally relative way it would be more effective. People have realized this and have changed their modes of education, this has improved the overall rate of infection. For example Rwandans in Africa think that using a condom during intercourse is dangerous because it could slip off their penis during sex and cause a blockage in the vagina (Chijioke, 2011, pg. 206). Also in Rwandan culture sperm is seen to been a personal gift of self to their sexual partner and using a condom takes that away (Chijioke, 2011, pg. 206).
The first example is more of a fundamental misunderstanding of how the preventative measure works. This can be corrected with more of a straightforward approach to sexual education. The second example however is more of a culturally based problem. Educators now have to find a way to find a middle ground that both satisfies the Rwandan’s beliefs about sex, but at the same time keeps them safe from infection. Governments are also working to help promote healthy cultural practices and discourage ones that promote the transmission of HIV/AIDS. “Governments should facilitate this process by repealing all negative laws that contain or enhance stereotypes and cultural practices that hinder the enjoyment of fundamental human rights”, (Mugambe, 2006, pg. 78).
Educators also run into social barriers when trying to educate people about HIV/AIDS. In Vietnam and Africa sex workers have a low rate of using condoms, with the recent...

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