Over the past several decades, education, medical advances, and public health efforts have tempered the public image of HIV/AIDS. Despite these efforts, patients with HIV/AIDS continue to experience stigma and discrimination, which may negatively affect a patient’s mental health status. The stigma impedes patients from seeking HIV tests, particularly in certain ethnic and racial groups. Reducing the stigma and discrimination of HIV/AIDS is one of many roles carried out by HIV/AIDS social workers.
The advent and availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 1996 changed the course of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. ART is not a cure for HIV or AIDS. It is a medication regimen that controls the level of HIV virus in the blood, leading to prolonged life expectancy and improved quality of life for patients with HIV/AIDS. It is often difficult for patients to accept and comprehend that ART is a lifelong treatment that must be taken on a strict schedule. Deviations from treatment schedules often lead to detrimental consequences. Medical social workers play an integral role in supporting patients with HIV/AIDS on ART.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Review this week’s resources. Consider stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS. Think about the negative effects of stigma and discrimination, including the psychological burdens that create formidable obstacles to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Post an explanation of factors causing stigma and discrimination in patients with HIV/AIDS. Then, describe the impact of stigma and discrimination on the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and patients’ psychosocial profiles. Explain the propensity of excessive stigma and discrimination in certain ethnic and racial groups. Provide examples to illustrate your response. Focus on the NASW Code of Ethics, and explain ways you might address stigma and discrimination while providing HIV/AIDS education and preventive services.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the resources and the current literature using appropriate APA format and style.