Essay on hiv/aids

This paper has shown that the relationship between stigma and HIV/AIDS is a complex combination of social/cultural stigma related to how society treats people with the condition, and internalised stigma related to how HIV positive individuals feel about their own condition. Health promotion work aimed at increasing the rate of diagnosis and managing the care of people with HIV/AIDS must address the social and internalised stigma associated with the condition simultaneously. Stigma management within the health and social care system must normalise HIV infection as a chronic disorder like any other, continue to provide balanced education and advocacy in the community, and create support groups led by HIV positive people for HIV positive people and informational control (Goffman, 1963). Further research is required to support evidence based practice by the medical and nursing profession to reduce the effects of stigma on people with HIV and AIDS since the rate of diagnosis is on the increase.

Over 30 million people worldwide are infected with HIV.

In this article:

What is HIV & AIDS?

Suggested origins of the virus



Advice & Support

What is HIV & AIDS?
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a powerful virus that replicates itself and multiplies, despite attempts by the body’s immune system to destroy it.

HIV causes infections that can lead to a range of symptoms.

Over time, HIV destroys the white cells in the body which are there to fight viruses and bacteria. AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) then develops.

People can be infected with HIV through:

Unprotected sex (vaginal/anal/oral)

Blood transfusions

Donated organs

Sharing needles

Mother-to-baby – passing the infection on, breastfeeding, etc.

Symptoms of HIV include:

Swollen glands


Muscular and skeletal pain

Tiredness and sometimes overwhelming fatigue

Sore throat



Mouth ulcers and sores

Cold sores

Genital ulcers

Problems with the oesophagus (swelling, ulcers, difficulty swallowing)

Body and face rash

AIDS is the latter stage of HIV. It is a life-threatening condition because the immune system has now stopped working.

Symptoms and associated conditions of AIDS include:


Vaginal thrush

Thrush in the mouth



Heavy cough


Weight loss

Sweating and shivering

Sight problems


Note: AIDS can also lead to various cancers.

Suggested origins of the virus
In the late 1970s there was a sudden rise in demand for chimpanzee meat in Asia. As a result, African hunters hunted down chimpanzees en masse. The HIV virus is thought to have developed as a result of human blood mixing with chimpanzee blood during and after the killings.

In the 1980s, as the first few cases of HIV became apparent in Africa, healthcare professionals struggled to understand the disease. In fact, the symptoms of HIV can be so similar to conditions such as heavy flu or glandular fever, that treatment for these was administered instead.

Within a few years, HIV and AIDS had become a global pandemic as the virus spread across Africa and beyond.

If you think you may have been at risk of HIV infection (or if you are suffering from the aforementioned symptoms of HIV), go to your local genitourinary medicine clinic (GUM) immediately. They will take a blood test in order to establish a confirmed diagnosis. The test results usually take about 6 weeks to come through.

There is no cure for HIV and AIDS. Treatment is intended to slow the progress of the disease. After being diagnosed with HIV, you will be referred to an HIV clinic. There, treatment options will be explained to you. These can include:

A combination of anti-HIV drugs

Advice regarding adopting a healthy lifestyle – to try...

Essay on hiv/aids

essay on hiv/aids


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