It is evident that the Aids epidemic is a globally potential threat. This means that it is an epidemic of an infectious deadly disease, which threatens the lives of many people globally. In addition to this, Aids is also an epidemic of meanings or signification. This means that people often identify the epidemic with certain people, beliefs and occurrences.
If medical practitioners and the public continue to see Aids as a transmissible disease only, then various meanings or signification will continually multiply (Treichler, 264). The issue of Aids as an epidemic of meanings is very crucial for its identification and management. These meanings or signification include cultural or racial difference, which is the main concern of this paper. The paper will argue that, Aids has meanings or signification in relation to cultural and racial difference. For instance, the epidemic is more prevalent in Black Americans as well as Haitians. In late 1986, the Center for Disease Control produced a list of the highly susceptible groups in relation to Aids infection. This list included the homosexuals, black immigrants and Heroin Addicts.
This list revealed that being a particular kind of a person rather than practicing certain practices was a major factor in Aids infection. The implication here is that racial or cultural difference plays a significant role in susceptibility to Aids infection (Treichler, 217). Various studies have recorded that in the United States, the genetic difference between Native Americans and immigrants, especially black Americans, plays a significant role in the vulnerability of Aids infection. Some of these studies have revealed that Native Americans and other people of European origin have a tiny genetic mutation that renders their immune systems resistant to HIV infection. This then implies that people of the African origin and the Haitians are more susceptible to Aids infection since they do not have the genetic mutation. Other studies have offered the premise that the infection of Aids is not highly prevalent in females.
Rather, these studies indicate that males are at higher risk of spreading the infection, especially the homosexuals. However, some exceptions are clear especially for women of African origin. Owing to their sexual practices and other internal factors, these women are highly susceptible to the Aids infection. This indicates that there is a connection between Aids infection and cultural or racial background (Treichler, 270).
In addition to genetic difference and other internal factors, poverty also plays a significant role in offering significance to Aids epidemic in relation to racial differences. For instance, among African Americans and the Haitians, poverty depicts some unhealthy sexual patterns, which increase their susceptibility to Aids infection. Poverty often causes young people to lack good upbringing and quality education hence rendering them susceptible to drug abuse and unhealthy sexual behaviors. This does not however mean that young people who are not of African origin do not engage in unhealthy sexual behaviors. The difference is that since Aids is more prevalent amongst the African Americans, the possibility of its spread is therefore very high.
It is evident that Aids is an epidemic of meanings or significance rather than just being an epidemic of a lethal infectious disease. This issue of meanings of significance is very important in identifying and managing the epidemic. The epidemic has significance in relation to racial and cultural differences. For instance, several studies have associated Aids with people of African and Haitian origin. This means that the epidemic is highly prevalent in these groups due to various factors including genetic variance, sexual behaviors as well as poverty.