Community involvement in HIV/AIDS can be used as an effective strategy for prevention through such means as activism and volunteerism. Individuals who are involved in HIV/AIDS related-organizations develop a positive attitude about them, maintain HIV preventive behavior, bring change to the community, and ensure health programs and policies take into account their needs and cultures (Ramirez & Brown, 2003).
There are non-governmental organizations that identify persons in the community who might be HIV positive and not receiving care. Such organizations range in size from small to large and are located in urban and rural areas. Examples of organizations that help a person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in the community include faith-based organizations, community health workers under the supervision of District health networks, peer outreach services, high- risk groups, and home- based and palliative care (Medlock et al., 2017). Community -Based Organization conduct HIV counseling, testing, referral services for patients with sexually transmitted diseases to clinics, delivery of quality HIV care, and are able to reach a wider group of people at risk of getting HIV.
United Nations program on HIV/AIDS is a national organization that can be useful to John. UNAIDS is crucial because it has a target to diagnose 90% of all people living with HIV, provide antiretroviral therapy to 90% of those diagnosed with HIV. UNAIDS aims at achieving a viral suppression from adherence to a responsive antiretroviral therapy in those treated (Medlock et al., 2017). The World Health Organization has also come up with strategies that promote a people-centered approach informed by human rights principles and health equity (World Health Organization, 2016). These strategies will be crucial in the decline of new HIV infections and HIV related deaths, improve the health and well-being of all individuals living with HIV, be a guide to the efforts being made in accelerating and focusing on the prevention of HIV, enable people to know their HIV status, and challenge stigmatization and discrimination of people living with HIV (World Health Organization, 2016).
The internet has become a valuable source of clinically relevant information concerning HIV/AIDS medicine, and HIV has maintained a robust online presence where it has more Google hits than any other disease (Yu, 2010). The information on the internet is reliable and can be updated in real- time in contrast with traditionally written materials. These websites include AIDSinfo, AIDSmap, HIV inSite, International Aids Society, Medscape HIV/AIDS, AIDS Educational and Training Centers National Resources center, and HIV medicine (Yu, 2010). The United States Department of Health guides and provides information for people seeking information on AIDS on their website. John can use his mobile phone or laptop at the comfort of his home to learn more about HIV/AIDS from such websites.
John can also search and source for a support group that is close to him, comprising of people who have been newly diagnosed with HIV. During the sessions from the support group, John will be able to share his story and learn from the experiences of others already living with HIV and get encouraged.
There are gaps in services in my community for persons living with HIV which include untrained service providers. The majority of services providers are not properly trained in dealing with people living with HIV and often don’t know how to advise them on their nutrition, medicine, or sex life. The other gap is limited personnel in that most of the people living with HIV cannot access a community service provider. Some of the community service workers still stigmatize and discriminate against people living with HIV and such people are reluctant in attending community- based programs.
Medlock, J., Pandey, A., Parpia, A. S., Tang, A., Skrip, L. A., & Galvani, A. P. (2017). Effectiveness of UNAIDS targets and HIV vaccination across 127 countries. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(15), 4017-4022.
Ramirez-Valles, J., & Brown, A. U. (2003). Latinos’ community involvement in HIV/AIDS: organizational and individual perspectives on volunteering. AIDS education and prevention : official publication of the International Society for AIDS Education, 15(1 Suppl A), 90–104. https://doi.org/10.1521/aeap.184.108.40.206.23606
World Health Organization. (2016). Global health sector strategy on HIV 2016-2021. Towards ending AIDS (No. WHO/HIV/2016.05). World Health Organization.
Yu, V. L., Krakower, D., Kwann, C. K., Yassa, D. S., & Colvin, R. A. (2010). iAIDS: HIV-related internet resources for the practicing clinician. Clinical infectious diseases, 51(7), 813-822.