Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thoughts on HIV/AIDS

The U.S. handled the rise of HIV/AIDS in the 1980’s very poorly. They did not take affirmative action on such an extremely serious. At the time of the early 1980’s the U.S. did not have a clear concept of what type of virus they were dealing with. The virus infected so many people at such a high rate, and killed many young people, I think the U.S. should have put a greater emphasis on trying to figure out this deadly virus and also tried to create a vaccine that could stop it.  The U.S. government did not even mention anything about HIV/AIDS to the American people because of political reasons, also for the fact it dealt with homosexuality, which at the time was unethical to talk about. By not taking any action to prevent HIV/AIDS made Americans, especially gay Americans angry and frustrated. Many went to the streets to protest to get the governments attention. Hopeing they would do something to help prevent HIV/AIDS.
Unlike the U.S., Uganda’s president Yoweri Muserveni was very conscious of HIV/AIDs and the effect it had on his people. President Musereni took matters into his own hands and traveled around his country making speeches in all types of villages and towns speaking heavily on HIV and AIDS. He taught tolerance and courage for HIV/AID, trying to inform people of the very serious virus. He promoted a motto that he calls “ABC”, which was part of the AIDS Control Program. The purpose of this was to protect people from HIV and AIDs, and teach them about the virus. The meaning of “ABC” preached the message of Abstinence, Be faithful to your partner, and the use of Condoms. The president also created groups such as TASO which was a group that informed people of the effects and causes of the Virus. TASO traveled around the country as well providing entertainment and instructions on how to avoid infection. The president was very focused and determined on the prevention of this horrible disease spreading and infecting more people. He made his country aware and knowledgeable about the virus. This tactic of prevention programs lowered the virus rate tremendously, and brought a bit of security to his people.
Also unlike the U.S. and president Regan Thailand was also able to create ways to prevent HIV/AIDS. The Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun placed HIV/AIDS on the national agenda. He was confronted by a friend, who for years had been handing out condoms to prevent AIDS. Anand Panyarachun named his friend part of his new cabinet, and from there they started prevention programs for the virus. They made it mandatory that every radio and TV station must have 30 seconds of AIDS education. They also hung banners and signs of information about the virus everywhere they could to make people aware of how serious it was. By doing this dramatic results occurred that decreased infection by 90%. Not only did the government make efforts to prevent HIV/ AIDS, the church also created a shrine with the ashes of dead AIDS patients to make people aware and educated the seriousness of the virus. They church also created hospitals just for infected patients. These efforts from the government and church drastically changed the dynamic of HIV/AIDS in Thailand, creating a safe and more informative country.

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