An introduction to aids virus and stds in american society

Sexual intercourse, however, is not without potential harmful or unintended consequences. Two major potential health consequences of sexual intercourse are unintentional pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases STDsincluding HIV infection. These harmful consequences can be dramatically reduced through effective prevention programs and by openly confronting these problems on a national level.

An introduction to aids virus and stds in american society

Medically, it is the appearance of a serious, often fatal, disease in numbers far greater than normal. Socially, it is an event that disrupts the life of a community and causes uncertainty, fear, blame, and flight. The etymology of the word itself suggests the broader, social meaning: The medical meaning of the epidemic has been revealed in the sobering numbers reported in epidemiologic studies.

It is estimated that 1 million people are currently infected with the human immunodeficiency virus HIVwhich causes AIDS Centers for Disease Control,but this number is very uncertain see Technical Note at the end of this chapter.

Behind the epidemiologic reports and the statistical estimates lies the social disruption of the epidemic: The National Academies Press. And behind the individual lives are the manifold ways in which a variety of institutions and practices have been affected by the epidemic.

In the course of preparing those reports, the committee noted that many of the social consequences of the epidemic were not being studied in any systematic way.

Thus, in the committee established the Panel on Monitoring the Social Impact of the AIDS Epidemic, with the general mandate to study the social impact of the epidemic and to recommend how it could be monitored in order to contribute to the formulation of policies that might effectively deal with it.

In the course of its work, the panel, with the agreement of the parent committee and the several federal agencies that were sponsoring its work, modified this mandate and deleted the plan to recommend systems for monitoring.

This report is an unusual undertaking for the National Research Council. Its objective is to form a picture of the effects of the AIDS epidemic on selected social and cultural institutions in the United States and to describe how those institutions have responded to the impact of the epidemic.

No attempt has been made to write a comprehensive history—there are not yet adequate studies of the epidemic upon which to base such an effort. Instead we have been selective in looking at those institutions for which sufficient information is available to describe impact and response.

These descriptions cannot be considered complete and authoritative; but we do believe they suggest a pattern that should be of concern to the country and command the attention of policy makers attempting to deal with the epidemic over the next decade. Each case has many dimensions—personal, professional, and institutional—through the many social organizations that touch Page 3 Share Cite Suggested Citation: Each set of interactions creates an impact, and the diverse impacts have generated equally diverse responses by individuals, groups, and communities.

The panel set out to study these impacts, and it immediately confronted the problem of defining the terms of reference. Reaching deeper into the language, however, impact has a more powerful meaning—collision.

In this use of the word, an impact is an effect that radically changes the previous state of affairs or even destroys it. After much discussion, the panel adopted a definition of impact that fits somewhere between these two meanings. We adopted this hybrid meaning not only because it more accurately describes the impact of AIDS on contemporary America—social institutions have not been destroyed—but because we quickly realized that social impact does not merely destroy; it evokes a reaction or a response.

It is more organic than physical. Persons and societies do not merely feel the impact of an event; they remake their lives and institutions to accommodate, negate, or preserve its effects.

An introduction to aids virus and stds in american society

The task of this panel was to go beyond, to the extent possible to limited human vision, the impression of the extraordinary impacts of AIDS on individual lives and on social institutions. We have tried to sort out those that will endure in such a way as to force, or to invite, Americans to take them into account in the next decade.

This epidemic is not ordinary in one quite specific way: This epidemic is not, like many historical epidemics, an invasion of morbidity and mortality that rapidly sweeps through a population. It comes and will stay for years, not only in the population, but in the individual people infected, and its presence will often be known to them and to others long before they suffer the disabling, lethal effects.

Similarly, rough estimates can be made of the numbers of people who will begin to experience those disabling, lethal effects years from now. Thus, Americans must think about this epidemic for many years into the future. The institutions we studied appear to have absorbed the impact of AIDS and accommodated to it in a very limited way.

However, even a response that is partial and apparently transitory may mark the beginning of more fundamental change. Several of the institutions we studied may follow this trajectory of limited initial response, followed some years later by very Page 4 Share Cite Suggested Citation: These longer term responses would be interesting to follow, and we hope that researchers will attempt to do so.

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However, the panel did not attempt to suggest a methodology for longer term monitoring: After extensive deliberation, the panel determined that it had sufficient information and understanding to describe social impact and response for six institutions broadly defined: The six institutions chosen are very different in structure, degree of centralization, and other dimensions.

Such differences affect the level of generalization appropriate to each area. In the course of our work we also began to see another kind of impact and response—on public policies not necessarily connected to institutions.

Originally, three case studies were envisioned: New York, Miami, and Sacramento. We were able to complete only New York—a city that could never be described as typical, but one that does vividly illustrate the impact and response to AIDS among major social institutions.

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It is also rather common to find such references expressed in quite strong terms.Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a blood-borne virus typically transmitted via sexual intercourse, shared intravenous drug paraphernalia, and mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), which can occur during the birth process or during breastfeeding.

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In all of the tables in this document, both the pre NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre levels unless specifically stated otherwise.

The following table was published in Sept/Oct by the now-defunct Continuum magazine (and I expect elsewhere). It was part of an article by Christine Johnson, of HEAL Los Angeles. The introduction and list of 64 references from 'HIV' literature are not reproduced here. Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Following initial infection, a person may not notice any symptoms or may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. Typically, this is followed by a prolonged period with no symptoms. How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS [David France] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

A New York Times Notable Book The definitive history of the successful battle to halt the AIDS epidemic—from the creator of.

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