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Hiv/Aids and Culture

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Submitted By scaudill
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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 researched and how medicines are developed for it. Religion also plays a role in how the virus is spread and can have an impact on how those who are researching the disease research it. The spread of HIV/AIDS is affected by several factors the main ones being the approach of education taken, cultural perceptions of the disease, and religion. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was first recognized as a disease in 1981 (Kshatriya, 2005, pg. 69). Before 1981 it was found in the Caribbean and in African countries but it wasn’t until those first cases in the United States were diagnosed that the disease was officially recognized. HIV/AIDS exploded in America in the early 80’s, and initially they thought that AIDS was a “gay disease” and called it GRID standing for “gay related immune disease” (Lovell, 2011, pg. 111). This caused an initial stigmatization of the disease due to the association with homosexuality. Later cases of HIV/AIDS were found in intravenous drug users and their children, prostitutes, and hemophiliacs (Gautam, 2005, pg. 70). The initial focus on the gay community created a lot of activism in the gay community to educate the public about AIDS (Lovell, 2011, pg....

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