Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome referred to as AIDS (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2010). Left untreated, HIV can damage the immune system that can lead to AIDS. When the initial diagnosis becomes established the patient has many adjustments to overcome. Feelings of shame, guilt, denial, depression, fear, anger and shock are the beginning of the ramifications one must face with HIV and AIDS. Other ramifications include social, legal, and ethical issues.
Whereas a diagnosis of HIV does not mean hat the patient has AIDS, a diagnosis does mean that the patient will be thrust into an overwhelming state of emotion and not knowing what to do next. Most people have a misconception regarding HIV and AIDS yet the disease is a pandemic issue that must be addressed. In the modern society of present-day most are unafraid of war and crisis partly because war and crisis are easier to understand than HIV.
With the information available today the public is still afraid to embrace the problem and stand for the fight against the disease and the discriminations involved with the infected.
Society in general is a discriminative society. The social repercussions of HIV are astounding. The HIV patient is prone to social isolation and discrimination consistent throughout society. Most people view the HIV patient with stigmatized eyes as a deviant part of society. One must be a drug addict, gay, or lady of the night to contract such an evil disease.
With various explanations available the public does not want to understand what the public fears. Therefore, the patient subjected receives insurmountable areas of pain and abuse.
A person who has the HIV virus may appear to be in good general health for years. During these years the HIV virus may infect the bodys defense system by attacking the T-cells of the blood. The T-cells are the cells that fght off infection and keep each individual immune from simple germs easily fought off with a healthy immune system. By reducing the T-cell count the immune system can not fght the simple invasive germs that can result in a lower immune system causing AIDS. One can not contract AIDS without acquiring the HIV According to Nemours (2010), the HIV virus gains transmission through virus. irect contact to the blood or from body fluid from someone who already has the HIV irus. Unprotected sex with an infected person, using dirty needle’s, or possibly from the transmission of the virus in vitro from mother to child, are common instances where the virus is conceived. Contrary to the beliefs of many persons in society, HIV is not spread through hugging, sharing a drinking glass, coughing and sneezing, mosquitoes, door knobs, toilet seats, or any casual contact. General education is necessary to inform the public that HIV and AIDS are not for the deviant.
In fact, the socially inept are at the most risk. When viewed by ethnicity and race the picture ecomes clear that the disease equates with African Americans more than any other ethnic group. The disease is not a discriminating disease. HIV can infect anyone yet barriers that most Americans do not have to contend with. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2007), the barriers consist of insufficient medical treatment, a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases, more illnesses, shorter survival times and more deaths because of lack of medical treatment.
Although society may view the HIV patient with stigmatic eyes the medical industry is torn over when to disclose the information and when not to disclose. The first point of the HIV Journey often occurs at the time a patient receives testing for the virus. When a patient receives testing for HIV and found positive the shock triggers a plethora of emotion. The patient will often ask why me, what if someone discover the positive status, and how did this happen to me? The emotion is normal but what the patient may discover in the future are the abnormal tendencies of discrimination and possible rejection of treatment.
Receiving tests is the first hurdle in the race for life. Once the patient contends with the initial shock he, or she may consider treatment. HIV and AIDS are treatable disease allowing the individual a relatively normal life. Although the stigma will still exist and discrimination is still possible there are laws in effect to help protect the patients from unfair treatment because of their HIV status. Medical Providers are bound by HIPPA law to remain confidential regarding the HIV patient as well as all patients.
Other areas critical to HIPPA and compliance are to conduct self evaluations to learn what threats are lurking in the records and develop strategies to p50tect the information within all organizations. HIPPA’s purpose is to protect the privacy of the consumer. Information shared between the provider nd the patient shall remain private information and not shared with anyone outside the doctor patient role. Often the responsibility of disclosing his or her status remains up to the individual to decide when he or she will reveal the status of being HIV positive.
Often the individual has no choice in the declaration because the information leaks out by the provider before the individual can make the decision to come forward. Part of this process is the HIV registry. All providers must report the patient for inclusion in the HIV registry yet there are debates unsure if this follows confidentiality and etiquette. Established medical ethics require truthfulness, honesty, and integrity. All professional medical organizations have a code of ethics that is to be adhered to by each member of the staff.
The codes declared that information regarding patients must not come up for discussion with anyone not directly concerned with the individual. The matter of confidentiality extends to all members of the organization. One’s behavior must remain consistent with the nature and values placed on the organization. As one would not find fit to receive any type of gift for treatment one should also be aware of the ethical and legal amifications of disclosing personal and private matters regarding the patient. This registry floats within a thin line of ethical and confidentiality.