Category: Sociology

It has taken thirty years for the first diagnosed case of human immunodeficiency virus to become one the most alarming diseases in the world. In 2009, among the most common causes of deaths, AIDS was in the sixth place, taken the lives of nearly 30 million people (World Health Organization, 2014). This paper describes the impact of HIV/AIDS on society and the role of human rights in it.

Firstly, HIV / AIDS affects the demographic composition of the population. Africa is the most vulnerable region to the virus. It accounts for 70 percent of  new cases of infection; in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the rate of new HIV infections increased by a quarter (OHCHR, 2011). Furthermore, 90 percent of the governments indicated that they take actions against discrimination in HIV programs, but only half of them including the USA budgeted funds for such initiatives (OHCHR, 2011). Thus, exposure to HIV related with human rights issues remains a concern.

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Human law is closely connected with the spread of HIV and its impact on people and the community. This relationship is evident in the disease growth in the specific groups of the population, which depends on the epidemic nature and the economic, legal, and social terms. In particular, those who live in poverty are the most affected. Every year, 50,000 people in the USA become infected with HIV, and half of them are younger than 25 years (AVERT, 2015).

The probability of HIV infection of a woman is about three times higher than the probability of infection of a young man, especially young women are vulnerable to the disease (CDC, 2008). It is compounded by the fact that many women do not have the necessary access to information that can provide a certain support for the prevention of infection and enhance overall health. That is why, the government has created many educational programs to inform people about AIDS and many of groups like “Let’s Stop HIV Together” to help infected people (International Labour Organization, 2003).  

One of the most pressing problems in the USA is discrimination and stigmatization. A quarter of asked people said they would not feel comfortable if someone living with HIV prepared food for them. Rights of HIV-infected people are often violated; individuals bear the burden of the disease and deprivation of their rights. It is because HIV and AIDS are considered diseases of drug addicts or homosexuals. All HIV-positive people suffer because of negative attitude to certain segments of the population. Now, the public awareness enables society to accept the fact that many patients can acquire this infection accidentally or even by medical negligence. The US government is trying hard to show their loyalty to HIV-positive people. In 2009, President Barack Obama lifted the ban of entry for HIV-positive people (Preston, 2009).

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Stigma and discrimination impede obtaining necessary medical care. In addition, these phenomena have a negative impact on employment and many other human rights. It entails a number of other negative consequences. For example, weak immunity, lack of information support, refusal to take any social services. To help overcome the social barriers between healthy and sick people, the state is trying to inform the public about the causes, dangers, and symptoms of the disease, urging people not to hesitate to ask for help, take blood tests to check health. In addition, all information sources focus on the ways in which HIV/ AIDS is transmitted. It is necessary to safeguard public health and at the same time avoid excessive caution of the healthy population, which borders on disgust and discrimination of sick people (UNAIDS, 2006).

The probability of HIV and AIDS is significantly lower if a person has all the possibilities to get education, the necessary information, and to implement a number of other rights provided by the state. If the state guarantees all conditions for delivering full medical care as well as avoiding any violations of human rights, people themselves will be willing to be tested for HIV. Consequently, people with HIV status can cope with their situation more effectively, applying for medical and psychological treatment and receiving them, as well as taking the transfer prevention measures on the virus to others. It weakens the impact of infection on HIV-infected patients and other healthy people. According to the World Bank (2011), if more than eight percent of the population are infected with HIV, the economic growth is retarded in the country. 

The most significant contribution to the prevention of infection plays a state policy in the context of human rights protection. In addition, the consequences of infection are important for the society and the state. First, the improvement of the state policy in the context of human rights can have a positive impact on the spread of infection. The negative consequences for those who are HIV-infected can be reduced. Continuous improvement and adaptation of human rights in different social benefits and services as well as access to relevant information is a key factor in building an effective system to prevent the spread of any infection.

In conclusion, certainly HIV and AIDS have a negative impact on the economy and the demographic structure of the population. There are significant problems due to the decrease in the number of working-age people and the increase in government spending on health care systems and public awareness. As a result, population becomes weaker and sicker. However, the United States struggles to handle the negative impact and reduce the number of infection risks.

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