Stigma has been one the majorimpediments regarding the effectiveness on the epidemic-HIV. This epidemic remains a major public healthchallenge worldwide and persistent risk to young people.
This paper examines through research reviewson HIV/AIDS related stigma on college students. There is a high percentage ofcollege students with HIV due to risky sexual behaviors, and unfortunatelythere is a high rate of students who are not aware and not able to obtain thenecessary help through medication. Based on our current literature we concludethat stigma is still present, and is referred to a persistent problem in anydiscussion effective to the epidemic. We focus on the following keychallenges: describe, determine, and decrease HIV/AIDS related stigma oncollege students. Keywords: HIV, Stigma, College students, medication HIV andStigma in College StudentsThispandemic is a result of unpredictable but extremely strong combinations ofintimate personal behaviors such as unprotected sex, needle sharing, andsocioeconomic factors towards students. The extents to which stigma anddiscrimination against people that are living with HIV, and those mostvulnerable to it were also highly underestimated. Students living with HIV/AIDSin most countries continue to experience isolation, violence, eviction, loss ofemployment and other serious issues.Studentswith HIV were, and still are the scum of society, social pariahs.
Others, whohave not indulged in high-risk lifestyles continue to be labeled as innocents,implying that maybe other HIV infected individuals are guilty for any behaviorthat led others to be infected and therefore are deserving of their on illness.That is, being HIV positive suggested a questionable background, lifestyle orhistory (Stine, 2014). Roughly around one in eight college students living withHIV is being denied health services because of stigma and discrimination. Yet,in other instances students are not able to go thorough medication due to lackof information or discomfort. HIV- related stigma and discrimination is stillhappening worldwide, although it carries itself different across everyindividual.
According to Kingori 2017, U.S. college students with HIVtransmission had higher score among those who were with a partner and livingoutside the school dorms. Literature ReviewHIV/AIDS is the most major and most stigmatizeddisease of all, and there is a strong association of AIDS in the United Stateswith already stigmatized groups. Stigma upon infected people does not let themlead a “regular” life, the stigma is very strong because AIDS is an infectiousdisease and for many people this meant that AIDS can be transmitted veryeasily. According to the article “FactorsAssociated with HIV Related Stigma among College Students” by Kingore C.,most of students showed their desire to get tested, and they recognized the seriousnessin HIV. But on the other side, the article “Fighting HIV/AIDS on College andUniversity Campuses” described kissing, sharing a bathroom, or even shakinghands, are one of the ways some people think they can get infected; this onlyincreases the stigma and consequences the disease has upon the infected.
Thesetwo different articles showed the perceptions of college students, some wouldbe comprehensive about this disease and other would be ignorant about thesituation. From People on the outside world and students in classrooms had somuch fear regarding HIV, that they would avoid being near people suffering fromHIV, and would avoid being in the same room and having any type of contact withthem.Stigmacan affect an individual negatively in many ways; the immunological system andpsychologically. Individuals who are not knowledgeable of HIV would think thatHIV infected individuals are guilty for any behavior that led others tobe infected and therefore are deserving of their on illness. Sexuallytransmitted diseases are the most tabooed diseases we know. The weight of beingdiagnosed with an STD is huge, and the simple fact that diseases have the word”sexually,” in many people’s eyes, they are not diseases, but a consequence anda punishment for immoral behavior (Badura, 2014).
Victim shaming lays theresponsibility on the victim, and not only that but for many people, it issomething that people deserve. People with HIV/AIDS become part of a group thatdeserves to suffer. In order to decrease the stigma towards HIV/AIDS, us associal workers need to provide interventions that effectively diminish AIDSstigma to be recognized and implemented. Numerous college studentsunfortunately do not obtain the necessary help through HIV medication. Whetherit is because they do not get timely or accurate treatment or have lack ofinformation. There are many negative effects regarding HIV testing behavior.Many victims do not seek for test due to fear of confidentiality; they fearthat they could disclosure any information to family, or to others, which caneventually lead to discrimination. Alsostudents can lack of HIV medication because they are not willing to disclosethe HIV status, seek health and social support; Victims are not willing toaccept what is happening and what they are going through.
Thearticle “Addressing the Gap in Evidence- based on HIV/Aids Prevention ProgramsTargeting American College Students” demonstrates how there is a big percentageof students that needed more knowledge based on informative actions on where togo test, or how the symptoms started, because students were not aware that theyhad it and would not talk to anyone about it. Individual who does not have the means to get tested willcontinue without any health support, and even if they do have the opportunityto get tested, the treatment and medications with HIV are costly and noteveryone can afford it. Also on the article “A profile of U.S. based trials ofBehavioral and Social Interventions for HIV risk reduction” explains howfactors have to do with the diseases, whether because of Students gettingembarrassed buying condoms on the store, or even getting uncomfortable havingan open with communication with customers about contraception. Also in this article it states that collegestudents would not buy condoms for the reason and the belief that condomsinterfere with sexual pleasure.
There is a large percentage of college students with HIV;young adults are affected by the HIV/ADIS and majority of the times are unawareof their personal risk of HIV. Articles like “College Students and HIV/AIDS:more insights on sexual practices” provides information based on knowledgestudent think they have, they think they know exactly what this disease isabout but in reality they have little or not concern about becoming infected,which they practically do not take precautions on having safe sex. Individuals do not see the seriousness in the AIDS,because they do not teach them of what is it, how can it be contagious and thepreventions. Most colleges do not make sex education a requirement in their regularcurriculum.
And as far as their knowledge they are going to retain the sameinformation that they think they know, the myths and disinformation theyreceived from their peers or false information through the Internet. MethodsThroughoutthis research, we have questioned what have we learned in order to reducestigma? What types of interventions regarding aids have been tested and howsuccessful have they been? Is there anychance to reduce or possibly avoid the HIV stigma or has there been anincrement on stigma? HIVitself affects an individual in many aspects; we should focus on the measureson attitudes that reflect fear of infections and transmission from casualcontact with people living with HIV. Also we can measure Victims through theirprocess of coping with HIV, which we can focus on the attitudes that reflect anindividual infected with HIV. Another method to measure stigma would be tomeasure both interpersonal forms of discrimination such as isolations andinstitutional forms of discrimination; for example being denied health carebecause of HIV or having any problems at work due to your disease. And lastly,we can measure through your partner, how are they going to feel and react ifthey are aware of their significant other having HIV.Conclusion There is currently still stigma anddiscrimination towards HIV/AIDS; Fear was the first thing that came to people’sminds when meeting someone with HIV.
So much so, that students were afraid ofbeing in the same classroom as someone who had HIV/AIDS because they thought themcould get infected that way. It is with education and perseverance that we as asociety have come as far as we have. However, we still have a long way to go, thereare some beliefs and misconceptions that are guided by fear and by ignorance;these two intertwine and guide hate. Thisphenomenon has ties to political economy.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic has highlightedthe global nature of human health, welfare and globalization has given rise toa trend toward finding common solutions to global health challenges. There havebeen numerous international funds have been set up in recent times to addressglobal health challenges such as HIV. Treatment and medications for individualswith HIV are really expensive and not everyone can afford it.Intime, through education we can become advocates of social change as we educatesociety about HIV/AIDS.