Prevalence of HIV/AIDS among Women in Australia and the United States
Discuss about the Sexual Behaviour and Factor of HIV Testing.
HIV/AIDS is a key global health problem at present, and many efforts are being given to understand the social determinants that influence the prevalence of this disease. It has been noted that certain populace of the countries is more vulnerable to this disease, such as women, sex workers and children. The social determinants that guide the prevalence rate of HIV include economics, social discrimination, gender, healthcare services and living environment. Different countries of the world have witnessed changes in response provided to the emergence of the disease in a different manner. The present essay aims at comparing the effects of stigma, discrimination, and social justice, and living environment on the selected vulnerable population, that is women, in Australia and the United States. It also aims at exploring how the societies in these countries have undergone changes and adaptation as a result of the emergence of HIV/AIDS. The essay would describe the situation of HIV/AIDS and the risk factors among women in these two countries. Further, it would compare and contrast the impact of the two social determinants of health on the vulnerable population, that is social justice and living environment. An illustration of how the society has changed in these two countries, and the adaptations made, in response to the emergence of HIV/AIDS, is also provided.
The background to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among women in the two countries woud be mentioned first. Women in Australia experience are living with HIV/AIDS in a manner that is quite different from what is experienced by men. This is due to a number of reasons that include physical health factors and social factors. At the end of 2014, around 3056 women had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS that represented about 8.7% of the total population diagnosed with the disease. In addition, about 2700 women were already living with the disease that represented about 10% of the total population living with the disease. 19% of the newly diagnosed cases for women and men were attributed to heterosexual contact. Between the year 2010 and 2014, 242 women with HIV had been reported to give birth and 4 among the infants were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS (positivewomen.org.au, 2018). When studying the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among women in the US, one would find that the scenario is worse in the US as compared to Australia. Almost a quarter of the HIV infected population in the US are women. In the year 2015, about 7000 women were diagnosed with HIV. Overall, 86% of HIV diagnoses among women were attributed to heterosexual sex, and 13% were attributed to injection drug use. It is also to be noted that 61% of women diagnosed with HIV were African American. In the year 2014, about 2000 women had died due to HIV/AIDS in the country (Wright & Carnes, 2016).
Influence of Stigma, Discrimination, and Social Justice on Prevalence Rate of HIV/AIDS Among Women
At this juncture, it would be appropriate to discuss the influence of stigma, discrimination and social justice on the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among women in the two countries, and highlight the differences in situation. According to Liamputtong (2015) from the global epidemiological viewpoint, women in Australia have gone unharmed by HIV infection. Nevertheless, the impact of social injustice and discrimination done against this populace cannot be ignored. Discrimination against aboriginal and non-indigenous women have contributed to the rise in HIV infected women among the population. Further, the needs of women who have suffered mental disorder and disabilities are diminished or ignored due to community views that perceive them to be sexually inactive.
In the US, women who are disabled are at more risk of facing sexual exploitation. Though institutions are making efforts to implement effective education programs, women who are disabled, and those who are not disabled, are difficult to be reached. Women in the US are generally given the role of caregiver when a family member is diagnosed with HIV, however when it comes to providing care for them, less is done (Shelby & Ciambrone, 2016). In the US, negative and unfair belief that women are to be deprived of certain benefits is high. Discrimination against the Hispanics and African American women prevails throughout society, and there has been little change in this matter with time.
The impact of environmental conditions on the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS among women in these countries is to be analysed next. As opined by Bolsewicz et al., (2015) sexual transmission is the most common route of HIV infection among women in Australia. The risk of infection is particular during adolescents. Coming to the economic front, a considerable section of the women population in Australia live below the poverty line due to which they suffer financial stress. As a result, they face challenges in ensuring proper living conditions for themselves that can prevent the transmission of the disease. Economic insecurity among females has been linked with sexual risk factors and experiences of violence. The authors had further linked economically motivated relationships and HIV transmissions. However, the wealth gradient in the country is more positive than many other countries of the world, including the US.
As highlighted by Dale et al., (2014) the reality that people in the US have sexual intercourse with partners belonging to the same ethnicity or race results in women from communities such as Hispanic and African American group face more risk of HIV infection. Women in the country also are unaware of the risk factors of their partners for HIV. Women from the rural parts of the country have been found to suffer from poor living conditions that increase the prevalence of diseases such as syphilis and gonorrhoea. The intersection of poverty and domestic violence is of much significance in relation to prevalence of HIV. In addition, notable percentages of black and white women in the US have reported starting a relationship in response to economic concerns faced by them.
Impact of Environmental Conditions on Prevalence Rate of HIV/AIDS Among Women in Australia and United States
Since the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, both US and Australia have made efforts to control the increasing number of HIV cases. However, the approach made by these countries differ from one another, causing the distinct differences in the prevalence rate among the two countries. The Australian government has devoted more time as compared to the US for the expansion of social protection frameworks and livelihood frameworks that had emerged as challenges in the path of HIV prevention in the past. Further, the social support programs implemented in this country had address the concerns of unequal access to education, income and other living conditions adequately. In contrast, US authorities had not given adequate efforts to combat the factors that drive the HIV epidemic. Even if efforts had been given, they were not aligned with the exact needs of women in the country, leading to their failure. The socioeconomic approaches considered by the US did not aim at reducing the impact of socioeconomic disparity on women. It would have been better if these disparities were addressed at the root in the form of prevention strategy (Prendergast et al., 2017). In this regard, it is also to be mentioned that research on HIV mong the population, including women, in Australia, had informed healthcare practice and policy making, unlike in the US. While social discrimination has witnessed a significant reduction in Australia, US has a long way to go before there would be eradication of social injustice (Hampton et al., 2017).
The above comparison gives a good illustration of the differences in the pattern and impact of HIV/AIDS epidemics in Australia and US. The magnitude of the disease burden is more in the US as compared to Australia. While Australia has been able to meet the challenge of the epidemic to a considerable degree, US is still struggling to achieve the same. Women in remains less vulnerable in Australia in comparison to the US. However, both the countries need further robust strategies that can address the needs of the women in the community who are a vulnerable group for HIV/AIDS. Government and non-government organisations must come forward and take more initiatives to make the countries HIV/AIDS free in the near future.
Bolsewicz, K., Vallely, A., Debattista, J., Whittaker, A., & Fitzgerald, L. (2015). Factors impacting HIV testing: a review–perspectives from Australia, Canada, and the UK. AIDS care, 27(5), 570-580. DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2014.986050
Dale, S., Cohen, M., Weber, K., Cruise, R., Kelso, G., & Brody, L. (2014). Abuse and resilience in relation to HAART medication adherence and HIV viral load among women with HIV in the United States. AIDS patient care and STDs, 28(3), 136-143. DOI: 10.1089/apc.2013.0329.
Hampton, G., Buggy, M., Graves, J., McCann, L., & Irwin, J. (2017). Grappling with realities: policy and practice in HIV social work. Australian Social Work, 70(1), 92-103. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0312407X.2016.1146313
Home | Positive Women Victoria. (2018). Positivewomen.org.au. Retrieved 7 January 2018, from https://positivewomen.org.au
Liamputtong, P. (2015). Stigma, Discrimination and Living with HIV/AIDS. Springer.
Prendergast, L. E., Leung, R. K., Toumbourou, J. W., Taft, A., McMorris, B. J., & Catalano, R. F. (2017). Sexual behaviour in early adolescence: A cross?national comparison of Australian and United States youth. Australian Journal of Psychology, 69(1), 3-11. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajpy.12118
Shelby, R. D., & Ciambrone, D. (2016). Women's experiences with HIV/AIDS: Mending fractured selves. Routledge.
Wright, E. R., & Carnes, N. (Eds.). (2016). Understanding the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in the United States: The Role of Syndemics in the Production of Health Disparities. Springer.
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:
My Assignment Help. (2019). Factors Affecting HIV Prevalence Among Women In Australia And The United States: A Comparative Essay.. Retrieved from https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sexual-behaviour-and-factor-of-hiv-testing.
"Factors Affecting HIV Prevalence Among Women In Australia And The United States: A Comparative Essay.." My Assignment Help, 2019, https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sexual-behaviour-and-factor-of-hiv-testing.
My Assignment Help (2019) Factors Affecting HIV Prevalence Among Women In Australia And The United States: A Comparative Essay. [Online]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sexual-behaviour-and-factor-of-hiv-testing
[Accessed 25 February 2024].
My Assignment Help. 'Factors Affecting HIV Prevalence Among Women In Australia And The United States: A Comparative Essay.' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sexual-behaviour-and-factor-of-hiv-testing> accessed 25 February 2024.
My Assignment Help. Factors Affecting HIV Prevalence Among Women In Australia And The United States: A Comparative Essay. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 25 February 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/sexual-behaviour-and-factor-of-hiv-testing.