Afraid to Know the Truth
AIDS is an extraordinary kind of crisis that is both an emergency and a long-term development issue. Despite increased funding, political commitment and progress in expanding treatment, the AIDS epidemic continues to outpace the global response. No region of the world has been spared. The epidemic remains extremely dynamic, growing and changing in character as the virus exploits new opportunities for transmission. The UNAIDS/WHO global overview of the AIDS/HIV epidemic has reported in the year 2003, almost five million people became newly infected with HIV, the greatest number in any one year since the beginning of the epidemic. At the global level, the number of people living with HIV continues to grow. In the year 2001 the number increased from 35 million to 38 million in 2003. In the same year almost 3 million people have died of AIDS; over 20 million have died since the first cases of AIDS were identified in 1981 (5).
According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 850,000 to 950,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in the United States one quarter of which are unaware of their infection (par.6).Based on these statistics it is an obvious fact that this is a growing problem which continues to get worse year after year. The AIDS epidemic has been established as not only a national problem, but just as well as an international problem. In 2003, young people (15-24) accounted for nearly half of all new infections of HIV worldwide; more than 6,000 became infected everyday (par.3). I become very dismayed to find out that the majority of people that are infected with this terminal disease are at the ages where many at this age go out in the world to make a life for themselves. But, because of lack of responsible actions they must live with this disease for the remainder of their lives. Even though there are many types of treatment for those infected with this disease and with treatment AIDS/HIV patients can live a lot longer than 20 years ago when the first cases of AIDS were identified, the fact still remains it is an incurable disease.
The most vital factor that will have to come into play to make a significant difference in slowing down or possibly stopping this epidemic is prevention. But, despite the seriousness of this problem there are many factors that come into play that discourage steps in prevention.
In my opinion, the two main barriers that get in the way of preventing further infections, adequate care and support and treatment to lessen the impact of HIV/AIDS are shame and apprehensive thoughts of being discriminated against. These two barriers can be set off by many factors. Many of which include the lack of understanding the disease, myths about how the disease is spread, prejudice and social fears.
Thoughts of mortification and becoming filled with fear of being discriminated against can discourage many people from getting tested, contribute to them...