Over the past decades, the notion of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has undergone a series of drastic modifications in terms of the overall definition of perception and its place in the socio-economic paradigm. Previously, people used to believe that HIV was an infection relevant exclusively for men having sexual relations with men, especially when they come from the lower social classes. Today’s world community, however, is well aware of the fact that the virus has neither social nor ethnic affiliation. However, the idea of people being equal in the face of HIV infection does not object to the fact that some social groups, like the Black/African American population and homosexuals, are at a higher risk of obtaining the virus.
When speaking of the US context, the overall HIV/AIDS infection rates are steadily increasing nationwide, with some of the states like Louisiana and Florida having greatly higher incidence. Some researchers claim this phenomenon to be closely correlated with quite diverse socio-economic and ethnic rates in the aforementioned areas (Glynn et al., 2019). Thus, in the report provided by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) in 2018, Southern states were defined to contain the biggest rates of infection due to an increasing number of Black/African American residents and men having sex with men (“HIV: basic statistics,” 2020).
When it comes to the state of Florida in particular, the level of new cases incidence has been unprecedentedly high, claiming thirty new cases per 100,000 people annually (“HIV: geographic distribution,” 2020). Thus, with such a growing concern around the issue in the state, local authorities and non-governmental leaders are doing their best to prevent and consult people who either live with HIV or are in the risk group. In terms of the following project paper, three organizations and national initiatives will be discussed and analyzed on the subject of their efficiency and accessibility to the patients.
“Know Your HIV Status” Initiative
It goes without saying that when it comes to the issue of the virus epidemic in the area, there are two aspects that need to be taken into consideration in the first place. To begin with, both human and financial resources are to be allocated in order for the issue to be eradicated at its roots, thus, establishing a working prevention framework. Secondly, the more people are aware of their HIV status, the more likely it is for them to avoid infecting their partners in the future. In order to address the following issues, the Florida Health Department has launched an initiative aimed at encouraging young community residents to take care of their health and get tested for HIV.
“Getting to Zero” State Campaign
The following HIV/AIDS initiative is primarily focused on making sure that people are aware of the disease specifics, transmission routes, prevention, and treatment peculiarities from a relatively young age. The three major goals pursued by the initiative include:
- Making sure that the absolute majority of the Miami-Dade County population is aware of their HIV status;
- Decreasing the levels of new infection cases incidence by 25%;
- Securing access to HIV therapy for 90% of the County residents (“Getting to zero, Miami-Dade,” 2018).
Considering the fact that the very initiative was launched by the Miami-Dade County Health Department, it should be noted that the patients living with HIV are of benefit when it comes to the treatment plan organization. Since the process of HIV/AIDS treatment is primarily covered by governmental funds, it is of crucial importance for the patients to participate in similar campaigns to know more about their therapy plans and programs to enroll. Moreover, an important advantage of the federal initiative is a structuralized framework of sixteen recommendations applicable to the area’s residents. Some of the recommendations include stigma reduction, allocation of housing resources, partnerships with leading medical facilities in the country, and agenda development for the promotion of pre-and post-exposure prophylactics. While being engaged in a governmentally encouraged initiative, Miami residents will have the chance to change the “living with HIV” paradigm to ensure respect and accessibility. Furthermore, providing quality treatment and support in the community increases the overall probability of voluntary testing and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART).
The following governmentally supported organization serves as a symbiosis of the services outlined in the previous initiatives. However, the contents displayed are more connected to the Miami case, providing people with more relevant information and assistance resources. An absolute benefit of the organization deals with giving people all the necessary information concerning treatment and testing, i.e., including addresses, peculiarities of treatment programs, and peculiarities of application (“Test Miami,” n.d). The organization itself presents a variety of possibilities to launch events and programs related to support the groups and HIV infection prevention. Such possibilities allow people living with HIV to share their personal experience in terms of the issue, giving people advice and reassuring them that HIV is not the end of one’s happy and joyful life. With the help of “Test Miami,” people are able to get fully involved in community life by taking an active part in the educational forums and charity fairs taking place in the area.
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a medical condition followed by ignorance and social stigma that produce common fear of HIV testing, and the inability to discuss the issue openly. In order to improve the current situation, many federal and non-governmental bodies implement programs and launch organizations aimed at changing people’s perspectives on HIV/AIDS. Unlike many widespread diseases, the treatment of HIV is based on grant financial support, providing patients with the ability to live a long and happy life while undergoing therapy treatment. Thus, some of the major goals of HIV-related organizations are to make sure that people interact with the community and know the fundamentals of disease transmission and testing peculiarities. In the context of Miami residents living with HIV, the presence of such bodies is extremely important due to the growing incidence rate. Some of the most beneficial organizations in the area include “Test Miami,” “Getting to Zero,” and “Know Your HIV Status” initiatives. All of the aforementioned resources tend to consider the vulnerable population in terms of humanitarian and emotional support.
HIV: basic statistics. (2020). CDC. Web.
HIV: geographic distribution. (2020). CDC. Web.
Getting to zero. (2018). Web.
Glynn, T. R., Safren, S. A., Carrico, A. W., Mendez, N. A., Duthely, L. M., Dale, S. K., Jones, D. L., Feaster, D. J., & Rodriguez, A. E. (2019). High levels of syndemics and their association with adherence, viral non-suppression, and biobehavioral transmission risk in Miami, a US city with an HIV/AIDS epidemic. AIDS and Behavior, 23(11), 2956-2965.
Know your HIV status. (n.d.). Web.
Test Miami. (n.d.). Web.