All About Aids

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1. WHAT IS AIDS?

Human immunodeficiency virus infection / acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome:
* Acquired means you can get infected with it;
* Immune Deficiency means a weakness in the body’s system that fights diseases. * Syndrome means a group of health problems that make up a disease.

2. WHAT IS THE ROLE OF PSYCHOLOGY IN THE FIGHT AGAINST THE HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC?

The role of Psychology especially Community Psychology in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic are:

* Counselling

Basically, counselling is the most effective role of psychology; from prevention and even if the patient is suffering with HIV/AIDS illness.

* Awareness programs and movements led by psychologists (Community Psychology)

Using their assessment and analytical skills, community psychologists develop programs and institute community-wide initiatives to promote safe sex practices, and spread awareness of HIV and AIDS. In the article, author Anthony R. D'Augelli notes that coordinated community planning is critical to AIDS prevention efforts. By integrating medical and human services, various support groups, and identifying leaders in the community, community psychologists can reduce the incidence of new HIV cases.

D'Augelli's account of the programs he developed shows that community psychologists are important leaders in the health care community. D'Augelli's initiative to create the HIV committee and implement multiple policies is just one example of how community psychologists help communities in need.

* Books and References

In “Community Psychology and The HIV Epidemic: The Development of Helping Communities,” published in The Journal of Community Psychology, the author examines the community psychologist's role in communicating with people with HIV. The articles also discusses how psychologists effectively work with the community to implement successful prevention policies.

3. WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE EFFECTIVE STRATEGIES THAT CAN POSSIBLY STOP THE HIV VIRUS FROM SPREADING?

Abstaining from any sexual activity that would give you contact with someone's vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid or semen is the most effective way to avoid getting AIDS through sexual contact.

Having one sexual partner can help prevent AIDS. Both partners must have been tested and found to be HIV negative.

Using a condom each time you have sex. This includes oral sex, intercourse and any other sexual acts that give you potential contact with blood, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid or semen. Avoid condoms that contain spermicide.

Avoid aggressive sexual contact that can cause small tears in the vagina, anus or rectum; such tears give the virus an opening into the bloodstream.

Avoid sharing items like toothbrushes and razors, as they can contain traces of blood. 

Do not share needles with anyone.

Do not engage in any activity that puts an individual in contact with someone else's blood.

4. HOW WOULD YOU RAISE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE SOCIETY WITH REGARDS TO DISCRIMINATION OF HIV INFECTED INDIVIDUALS WHO GREATLY SUFFER FROM REJECTION AND OSTRACISM?

To raise the consciousness of the society with regards to discrimination of HIV infected individuals is through social network; which is one of the most frequently used tool for reaching out in all individuals, communities, groups, and societies. With the use of social sites such as facebook, twitter, instagram, etc., I could raise my opinion about the discrimination; that no matter what the circumstances are, victims are still victims and they should be treated equally with non-HIV individuals.

5. WHAT IS AIDS STIGMA?

AIDS-related stigma and discrimination refers to prejudice, negative attitudes, abuse and maltreatment directed at people living with HIV and AIDS. The consequences of...
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