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Hiv Prevention For Indigent Communities Essay

1426 words - 6 pages

Imagine a world where an innocent child is given HIV due to mother to child transmission. Imagine a world where a father cannot play football on an autumn’s afternoon with his son because he constantly feels a lack of energy. Imagine a world where for months straight one has a reoccurring yeast infection. And lastly, imagine a world where one cannot remember one’s very own mother’s name due to short term memory loss. Unfortunately, there is no need to imagine for all of the above are actual possibilities when living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
According to the Washington Times, Mike Stobbe discussed a study that was conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention involving a survey performed in high-poverty neighborhoods of 23 U.S. cities throughout years 2006 and 2007. In the survey, questions were asked about the participant’s financial income, practice of safe sex and were given HIV tests.

The results showed that “HIV was detected in 2.4 percent of the people who were living below the federal poverty line” The 2.4 percent translates to roughly 1 in 42 people (Center for Disease Control and Prevention). These results are substantially higher than the national average, which is “0.45% or 1 in 222 people” (CDCP). The results suggest that people in low-income neighborhoods are more likely to be infected because they live among more people who are infected. Therefore, it is safe to say socioeconomic status increases one’s risk of contracting HIV.
Healthcare is not a luxury or a privilege; it is an essential need for survival. Although President Obama’s healthcare bill is presently being considered by congress which would ensure that over the next 10 years health coverage will eventually be provided for 95% of Americans, lives today are still at stake. According to costhelper.com on average a test of 7 to 10 Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) including HIV can range from $300 to $400 making the option of getting tested very difficult for socioeconomic disadvantaged communities. People I encounter on an everyday basis are not knowledgeable of their HIV or STD status due to lack of financial means to get tested. For example, a co-worker of mine is currently 25 years old and has been sexually active since age 16. When asked if she had ever been tested for STDs she stated “No. Getting test when you’re uninsured can be so expensive. I’ve never had $300 to spare on something like that.” This is a frightening image; to know that people who I, my brother or even my best friend may eventually become sexually active with are unaware of their HIV status because they cannot afford to get tested. Not only does this pose a threat to their well-being, but also to mine and those close to me. For this reason I am very interested in decreasing one’s risk of contracting STDs/HIV due to one’s socioeconomic status and therefore creating this proposal to reduce the risk of HIV contraction
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