7 Nov. 2018
Research Draft 1
What You Don’t Know About HIV/AIDS
HIV is a rare sexually transmitted disease, fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the United States. So, how can such a rare disease be so life-long and deadly? Good question. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus which can turn into AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. There is treatment for both illnesses; however, the condition cannot be cured. HIV causes the AIDS and it interferes with the body’s ability to fight infections. Many people know what HIV AIDS are, but how well informed are we about the disease?
Masoomeh Khosrovani, author of journal article, “African American college students’ opinions of media messages on HIV/AIDS awareness: students attitudes toward the disease,” says, “Studies show that the number of HIV and AIDS infections among college students is on the raise due to their risky sexual behaviors,” (Masoomeh Khosrovani, et al). This was because college students did not see themselves or others as a risk to developing AIDS. “They perceived themselves to be immune to the disease and held the belief that their partners’ HIV status was determined by their looks and physical characteristics, (Khosrovani, et al). Some may know that this is completely wrong, because a healthy, living, regular person can carry HIV and no one could suspect a thing. So where do these college students get their information from? We learned that the students’ level of knowledge came from social media and the messages that were put out to bring awareness about this disease. Let’s examine how effective the awareness of HIV/AIDS been throughout the years.
The media’s involvement in raising the public awareness of HIV/AIDS is insufficient. “In the United States, studies indicated that media engagement in fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic is inadequate,” (Khosrovani, et al). College students were influenced by watching and listening to music videos that promoted irresponsible sexual behaviors, resulting in the students’ believing what social media intended on influencing their thought. TV programs, and the internet mainly focused on other types of health issues, never really mention HIV. The internet could be a valuable asset in educating young adults by sending awareness messages to social networking websites. For example, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram can always catch the attention of a young adult. Unfortunately, there are not any awareness messages published on any social media networking. “How often do you see public service announcements on television regarding HIV/AIDS? … very often (19%); sometimes (40%); rarely (35%); and never (7%),” (Khosrovani, at all). These were teens answering a poll to see how well Television brought awareness.
Studies also investigated how well medical doctors and dental students knew about HIV/AIDS. The target group were Iraqi medical and dental students in their 3rd-4th year of their education. Data was collected and showed a total of 526 participants, 319 being medical students and 207 being dental students. “Knowledge of about half of the medical students (54%) was at an intermediate level and of 27.1% students was at a good level; more than half of the dental students (68.2% had an intermediate level and 10.5% had a good level of knowledge,” (Ammar Hamid Albujeer, et al). This showed that medical students had better knowledge and attitude towards HIV aids compared to dental students. Doctors and dentists “play a very important role in educating the community about this disease and how to prevent it,” (Albujeer, et al). In that case it would be extremely important for more doctors to be educated on the topic. Results on the investigation also indicated that more emphasis should be placed on educating dental and medical students about blood-borne pathogens. “Researchers from South Africa, Brazil, Jordan, and India have reported about the knowledge and attitudes of dental students toward HIV/AIDS; all the results showed good knowledge of students, but their attitude with the persons who are infected with HIV is bad,” (Albujeer, et al). This shows that the dental doctors did not know how to treat a patient with HIV properly, or did not want to for that matter.
A study took place in Michigan, to see how well aware Michigan residents were of HIV/AIDS. The objectives stated in the study are as follows,
1: to determine the extent to which HIV positive persons living in Michigan were aware of, and understood Michigan’s criminal HIV exposure law, 2: to examine whether awareness of the law was associated with seropositive status, and 3: to examine whether awareness of the law was associated with potential negative effects of the law on persons living with HIV” (Galletly, Carol L, et al).
Findings showed that the majority of participants were aware of Michigan’s HIV exposure law. The association between the HIV Exposure Law and and the amount of positively tested people was not recognized. However, the law was “significantly associated with disclosure to the greater proportion of sex partners prior to respondents’ first sexual interaction with that partner,” (Carol L, et al). In other words, the study’s main focus was to determine how many partners a positive tested person had, prior to knowing that they were HIV positive.
For the most part people know what HIV is and what it can cause. However, the teenagrers are definitely the ones who cared the least. This is because they think it could never happen to them… until it does. “Although students were well informed about the disease, they still held “hedonistic attitudes” about their sexual practices,” (Khosrovani, et al). This tells us that the college students knew the risks but they were more devoted to self pleasure instead of self health. The students level of knowledge depended on how well media messages elevated awareness about the disease.
After reading and reviewing the evidence from these three articles, I have came to conclusion that many people do not know a lot about this terrible disease. Teens, to local adult residents, to MD’s with PhDs need to be well informed about this lifelong illness and how it slowly takes your body out of business. So how can college student and doctors be more informed about HIV/AIDS? To start I believe that doctors and dental doctors should take a full course of how to prevent HIV from spreading within their patients. They should know how exactly to take proper care of a patient who is HIV positive.
As for the teens, I believe that campaigns at campuses can be started for spreading awareness. I also believe that there should be supervision at college parties, for instance, a cool teacher or a trusted adult. Overall I know that HIV is a hidden disease and not many people will come out and tell you that they have HIV or AIDS. However, it is always important to make sure you and your partner get checked, if you want to be sexually active. It is better to educate yourself and others instead of putting your life on the line for one night.
In conclusion, education appears to be the most effective way to reduce the number of people who will suffer and die from HIV/AIDS. Raising awareness can save the lives of the ones who did not think it would happen to them. Fortunately, unprotected sex does not always lead straight to HIV, there has to be some sort of bodily fluids secreting out. However, this does not mean that unprotected sex is not always unharmful either. The nation must be prepared to deal with a fatal illness whose cause is initially unknown but highly infectious and deadly.
Albujeer, Ammar Hamid, et al. "HIV/AIDS awareness among Iraqi medical and dental students."
Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry, vol. 5, no. 5, 2015, p. 372. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A431330584/AONE?u=lom_oakcc&sid=AONE&xid=a527e1e3. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
CDC. “What Are HIV and AIDS?” HIV.gov, CDC, 21 Feb. 2018, www.
hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/about-hiv-and-aids/what-are-hiv-and-aids. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018
Galletly, Carol L., et al. “A Quantitative Study of Michigan’s Criminal HIV Exposure Law.”
Aids Care, 23 Aug. 2011, http://web.a.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=1&sid=5123aad0-7s56-433281ac-6b29817ef4a7%40sessionmgr4008. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.
Khosrovani, Masoomeh, et al. "African American college students opinions of media messages
on HIV/AIDS awareness: students’ attitudes toward the disease." College Student Journal, vol. 45, no. 2, 2011, p. 414+. Academic OneFile, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A259679625/AONE?u=lom_oakcc&sid=AONE&xid=cb73ee9b. Accessed 7 Nov. 2018.