Arnaldo Perez Frometa
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in Vulnerable and Diverse Populations
As discussed in the earlier paper, around 92% of the total India Square population is immigrants from various origins. The majority of the 92% are unemployed and they usually depend on one of the family member or government aids. For this reason, they struggle to survive in most cases ending up being drugs user and alcoholic or and women into prostitution, activities which exposes them to SDIs. It is therefore not a surprise that HIV/AIDS and other STDs are very rampant in India Square. In fact, 29% of all deaths are from HIV/AIDs related communications. This paper will discuss HIV/AIDs as a health concern in the diverse population of India Square. Also, how the organization is responding to HIV/AIDs, gaps in the health care and barriers to closing those gaps.
Currently, the organization serves HIV/AIDs in the area by first; educating people on various ways through which they can avoid being infected. One of the most common prevention interventions relating to HIV/AIDS in being undertaken by the organization is advocating for protected sexual intercourse, particularly using condoms. Since abstinence, being faithful campaigns have proven to be futile, the organization has chosen to advocate for using condom, and boosted it by to avail free condoms to the population as much as it can (Woodward, 2018). Another intervention has been the implementation of antiretroviral therapy that entails counseling regarding the management of AIDS among the infected people. This therapy mostly starts immediately after an individual is tested HIV-positive in which he/she is enrolled to the program. The counseling entails healthy living, nutrition, medication, healthy sexual relations with other infected or uninfected people etc. Furthermore, the organization has initiated a program whereby individuals can access HIV testing tool kit implying that people can purchase the equipment and have their blood tested for the virus on their own free will. In addition, the organization has HIV awareness programs.
In India Square, the main health care gap exists between the minority educated population and the majority semi-educated. While majority of the educated population are whites and some few immigrants, most immigrants have little education. This reason makes a big difference regarding health care services received. The rate of HIV infections in the he educated population is less. Also, mortality rate due to HIV related complications is lower in in people who are educated.
To reduce the gap existing between the educated and the uneducated populations in terms of prevalence and mortality rate, two strategies can be used. The first strategy would be to start awareness programs aiming at teaching the less educated population how effective ways of preventing HIV infections, for example, use of condoms (Kharsany & Karim, 2016). This is the most cost-effective and efficient evidence-based strategy since most of the less educated contract virus due to lack of knowledge.
Another strategy would be to start a mandatory HIV testing. This can be done by having all people tested for HIV for them to know their HIV status. Those who test positive should be subjected to antiretroviral therapy and be educated on how to minimize the spread of the virus to their partners who are not infected. Prevention is always better and less expensive than treating chronic diseases.
The strategies mentioned above, however, will be faced by several challenges. The first challenge is the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS especially by people with lower economic status. Specifically, stigma occurs in various forms including rejection, avoidance and discrimination against HIV/AIDS victims, ostracism, mandatory HIV testing in absence of consent, lack of confidentiality, violence against the victims or those perceived to be HIV-positive, quarantine of HIV victims etc. The said stigma that is perpetrated by the society and its culture and traditions will bar many from being tested for HIV, obtaining their results or accessing medication and treatment Carter, Omenn & Mona, 2016). This will not only complicate the management of the HIV/AIDS but also perpetuate its transmission.
The second challenge is the high costs associated with treatment and prevention of the health HIV. Public awareness campaigns are usually expensive, and the organization may be economically challenged when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS. Low living standards mean that most people living with HIV/AIDS in the area cannot afford the expensive antiretroviral therapy that is very vital in addressing the condition. As a matter of fact, HIV victims are expected to acquire proper nutrition in order to properly manage the infection. This also adds to the cost burden not mentioning that an infected worker may reduce his/her productivity in the workplace thereby affecting his/her wages. It is worth noting that HIV intervention programs require a lot of resources meaning that the organization have to stretch it budget beyond limits in order to finance the programs (Kharsany & Karim, 2016).
In conclusion, the diverse population in India Square is almost made up of immigrants whose majority’s living standards are very low. For this reason, they engage themselves in activities which expose them to various diseases including HIV/AIDS and due to their inability to meet medical costs, a huge health care gap form between them and a group of few people who are better economically. Therefore, the concerned organizations should come up with strategies to close this gap which is widening up every day
Kharsany, A., & Karim, Q. (2016). HIV Infection and AIDS: Current Status, Challenges and Opportunities. The Open AIDS Journal, 10:34-48.
Woodward, C. (2018). HIV Prevention Programmes Overview.Retrieved from https://www.avert.org/professionals/hiv-programming/prevention/overview.
Carter, W., Omenn, G., & Mona, M. (2016). Characteristics of Health Promotion Programs in Federal Worksites: Findings from the Federal Worksite Project. American Journal of Health Promotion, 67, 43-45.