HIV, hepatitis, and STDs create an invisible epidemic in the modern world as most people hide their problems, and their symptoms are not visible. John’s case demonstrates that HIV risks exist for different populations, and the factors leading to the disease are also variable. For this reason, people with the same or similar life circumstances are provided with comprehensive support and counseling by the Miami-Dade community to prevent HIV. John’s case demonstrates the importance of programs such as HIV and hepatitis education, testing and treatment of diseases, help, and training of prisoners, and family planning.
One of the most important aspects of preventing HIV, STDs, and hepatitis is the education of the population from school age. Only after receiving the tattoo, John found out about the risks of transmitting HIV through non-sterile needles, since he was involved in a gang since childhood and did not receive the necessary information about prevention of this disease. It is possible that John saw limited information about HIV from posters and billboards on the street or TV; however, he was not aware or responsible for the dangers of tattooing when he received it. In addition, the fact that his girlfriend is pregnant most likely means that John is also not aware of the importance of contraception.
However, Miami-Dade provides many educational programs and centers that talk about preventive protection measures. First, most information about the risks and consequences of the disease is provided on the Florida Department of Health website. The web page details the methods for transmitting diseases, their effects, and symptoms, including safe sex, substance abuse, tattoos, and body piercing (“Florida HIV/AIDS hotline, “n.d.).
There, one can also find a schedule of trainings and events that will take place in the community, for example, “Rapid HIV test training” in Miami (STD/HIV prevention, 2020). In addition, on the KnowYourHIVStatus website, a person can find the nearest testing center by using a zip code (“Where to get tested,” n.d.). Thus, information on protection measures and HIV testing can be easily obtained for people of any age, and adolescents should also get it in schools.
However, in John’s case, his options are limited by the walls of the prison for the coming year. This situation restricts the guy’s freedom of movement but does not prevent him from getting the necessary advice, tests, and treatment. Miami has peer-based programs in which prisoners are taught information about HIV, hepatitis, and STDs to educate other prisoners with this knowledge (“Florida DOH,” 2020).
There is also the Jail Linkage Programs center for counseling and treating prisoners with HIV and STDs located in Miami (“Florida DOH,” 2020). In addition, every person must undergo testing before being released from jail, so the results of testing John from previous years must also be recorded (“Florida DOH,” 2020). Consequently, despite John’s particular conditions and location, he also has many opportunities to access the necessary information and to test his health.
Moreover, there are affordable educational and preventative hepatitis A and B programs in the Miami community. Some programs and centers also provide free vaccines for uninsured people. In addition, on the website of the Department of Health, addresses of centers, programs, and information on pre-exposure prophylaxis and post-exposure prophylaxis and treatment are published.
Since early treatment and prevention measures significantly reduce the risk of developing the disease, residents of the Miami community can find programs that cover the cost of medicines. For example, the Miami-Dade County Health Department can help get PrEP medication and a free and low-cost hepatitis A and B vaccine (“VEST, “2020; “HIV PrEP and nPEP providers,” 2020 ). John, who will be released from prison in a year, may need this information if he was infected with HIV by tattooing.
The pregnant girlfriend of John also requires testing and care as her condition affects the health of the child. In Miami, there are family planning centers that the girl can visit, in which she will be tested for STDs and HIV and will be consulted throughout her pregnancy. For example, the Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Center is located in Miami, and it is included in the Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women Act (TOPWA) program, which assists under-served women in accessing the medical or social services (“Targeted Outreach,” 2019). Since the girl has increased risks of HIV, she can receive care for her health and preventive treatment for her and her child in the future. Consequently, John must also contact his girlfriend to provide her this information.
Therefore, Miami-Dade country has enough resources to help people with low income or social status receive educational information, test, and treatment for HIV, hepatitis, and STDs. In the case of John, who is in prison, and his pregnant girlfriend, Miami can also provide assistance in obtaining services, since the County Health Department, medical, social and educational centers operate on its territory. However, many Miami residents may not be aware of these services when they first encounter this problem, and the Health Department needs to promote it more effectively.
Florida DOH corrections programs. (2020). Web.
Florida HIV/AIDS hotline (n.d.). Web.
HIV PrEP and nPEP providers list – by area. (2020). Web.
STD/HIV prevention & control program – counseling, testing & linkage. Training dates – 2020. (2020). Web.
Targeted Outreach for Pregnant Women Act (TOPWA) 2018-19 contract providers. (2019). Web.
Where to get tested. (n.d.). Web.