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These educational programs can be found in public schools and colleges throughout the country. These programs instruct students on how to protect themselves and the importance of condom use and the benefits of abstinence.

Experts hope that this type of intervention will cause young people to consider the consequences of their actions. They hope that these programs will encourage students to make better choices concerning risky behaviors that can lead to HIV / AIDS infection. Professionals also believe that these young people will take the information back to their communities and influence others to protect themselves against the disease.

Another important step is AIDS prevention is the concept of HIV testing. It is believed that when people are aware that they are infected with the disease they will make a more concerted effort to protect others from the disease. According to the CDC,

Most people who find out that they are HIV-positive reduce their sexual and drug-use behaviors... While the number of existing, effective interventions is limited, a recent review examined the correlates of sexual risk among HIV-positive persons. This article provides some guidance for agencies developing programs by highlighting what is known to be and not to be associated with sexual risk among HIV-positive persons. In addition, it is likely (but not known) that existing interventions for HIV-negative persons could be adapted for HIV-positive populations. Messages in adapted interventions should reflect the needs of HIV-positive persons to protect their partners as well as themselves." (Prevention Interventions with Persons Living with HIV 2003)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention insists that HIV tests should be given to any individual that request one and that HIV testing should be a standard practice for individuals and communities where there are a high percentage of people with HIV / AIDS. The CDC explains,

HIV screening in high prevalence settings makes sense because testing solely on the basis of risks fails to identify many HIV-infected persons. Persons with AIDS make multiple visits to hospitals, acute care clinics, and managed-care organizations before their AIDS diagnosis, but are never tested for HIV. Many providers are uncomfortable discussing risk behavior with their patients, and many persons may be unaware of, or do not disclose, their own or their partner's risk behaviors. Routine voluntary HIV screening presents an opportunity to reduce the stigma related to HIV testing. Patients are not offended when testing is presented as a policy that applies to all patients because they do not feel singled out as "at-risk." More patients accept HIV testing when it is offered routinely than when it is based upon risk assessments. (Routinely Recommended HIV Testing as Part of Regular Medical Care Services 2003)

Conclusion

The purpose of this discussion was to examine the epidemic of Aids in America. We found that AIDS was first discovered by American doctors in 1981 and that the disease causes the immune system to deteriorate, making the individual susceptible to many different ailments. We also found that advances in medicine can now slow the progress of the disease. Our investigation also provided vital statistics concerning the amount of new infections, the amount of people living with AIDS and the number of people that died from the disease in 2002.

Our research also provided an in depth analysis of the most infected portion of our society and the tactics that are being implemented to stop the disease from spreading. We found that the African-American community makes up a disproportionate amount of new HIV cases. Our investigation concluded that the stigma attached to homosexuality in the African-American community is a prime reason for the spread of the disease. In addition, we found that educational programs are being used in public schools and colleges to encourage students to protect themselves. Finally, we found that HIV testing in certain communities may prove effective in decreasing the amount of HIV / AIDS cases.

References

Rowland B. (1996) AIDS. Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Retrieved October 31, 2003 from; http://www.findarticles.com/cf_0/g2603/0000/2603000005/p3/article.jhtml?term=AIDS

Whitaker Charles. (2001) THE SHOCKING TRUTH ABOUT THE AIDS EPIDEMIC IN BLACK AMERICA. Ebony. Volume: 56. Issue: 8.

HIV / AIDS Surveilance Report. (2002) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 31, 2003 from; http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/stats/hasr1402/2002SurveillanceReport.pdf

Prevention Interventions with Persons Living with HIV. (2003). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 31, 2003 from; http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/partners/Interim/intervention.htm

Routinely Recommended HIV Testing as Part of Regular Medical Care Services…