January 31, 2015
HIV/AIDS Epidemic among African Americans
The Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) epidemic began in the 1980s. Since this time, approximately 50 percent of the deaths linked to HIV were African Americans. African Americans make up 12 percent of the United States Population. However in 2011, this minority group accounted for more than 46 percent of all reported HIV cases.
Based on numerous literature review, HIV is a growing concern among African Americans. This paper will define HIV. A definition of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) will also be given. Then one will move on to looking at the social and economic disadvantages of this epidemic.
The effects of this health issue on African Americans will also be discussed. Programs, policies, and social conditions that led to the health inequality among African Americans and other races will be looked at. One will touch on the changes made over the years to prevent and reduce this issue. Lastly one will recommend other changes that may improve these conditions.
Definition of HIV and AIDS
Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV is a virus that affects human beings. HIV attacks and weakens your immune system by destroying the cells used to fight off infections and diseases. HIV is incurable and progresses to various stages throughout one’s life. The final stage of HIV occurs when the body can no longer fight off infections and diseases. This then leads to AIDS.
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS is a complex sickness with many complications and symptoms. AIDS is acquired once a person’s immune system is unable to function due to the damages cause by HIV. This final stage of HIV can be treated using antiretroviral therapy (ART). This will give a HIV infected individual a longer life expectancy. However, once HIV progresses to AIDS, medical intervention and treatment is necessary to avoid death.
Effects of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic
For decades, African Americans...