- The issue of HIV criminalization has been affecting the lives of numerous residents of the U.S. Because of the current standards reinforced in the U.S., particularly, the necessity to disclose one’s HIV status, a patient may suffer significant emotional distress and be ostracized even when undergoing appropriate treatment (Center for HIV Law and Policy, 2017). Thus, actions must be taken to ensure HIV patients’ security and safety.
- Despite the fact that the current legislation is admittedly legitimate from the perspective of the community and its members’ safety, it jeopardizes the security of HIV patients. Because of the exposure that the disclosure of their disease entails, social ostracism becomes dangerously probable for them (Lee, Yamazaki, Harris, Harper, & Ellen, 2015). The identified scenario is especially unfair for the HIV patients that take respective medications and, therefore, do not pose a threat to their partners. Thus, a change in the current rigid standards is strongly recommended.
- The issue of criminalizing HIV has been affecting the U.S. population, in general, and the residents of Florida, in particular, causing around 106,5000 people to experience significant social pressure (Turner, 2015). The identified phenomenon leads to a steep rise in the number of mental health problems among patients with HIV, including stress, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal tendencies (Adeboye et al., 2017). Thus, it has to be managed appropriately and addressed within the shortest amount of time possible.
- Has there been similar legislation introduced and/or passed in other states? If so, include it. It should be noted that some of the states have altered the existing standards for HIV disclosure and reduced the level of criminalization significantly. For instance, in North Carolina, patients undergoing respective treatment and taking antiretroviral drugs are allowed to keep their HIV status private (Turner, 2015). Similar changes need to be done in the local community as well.
- The suggested change is not going to cause the local healthcare authorities to suffer massive financial expenses. However, certain costs must be taken to ensure the safety of all participants involved, including vulnerable populations. For instance, one will have to reduce the price of rapid HIV screenings. The identified step will encourage people to take HIV tests and thus prevent the instances of HIV contraction by their partners. Furthermore, retroviral medications and related medicine will have to become readily available to HIV patients.
- Among the people that will support the bill, HIV patients and their families should be listed. Since it is in their interest to promote the bill, they should encourage it as an important step in regaining their rights and freedoms. Healthcare practitioners may also encourage the promotion of the bill since it will lead to a drop in mental health issues among HIV patients. Particularly, the instances involving stress, anxiety, and depression will be reduced.
- People that are unaware of HIV-specific information may oppose the bill. Driven by fear, they will insist on HIV criminalization. Although the specified response to the change in the current legislation is understandable, it needs to be altered since it deprives people with HIV of their indefeasible rights (Lee et al., 2015). Therefore, community members and other people that may be against the enactment of the bill will need to be educated about HIV.
The specified problem is of high urgency; thus, it needs to be discussed as soon as possible. It is desirable to address it within a month. Therefore, an appointment should be due within a week. With the further discussion of the issue and the introduction of adequate changes to the existing regulation, one will be able to introduce a positive change to the community. As a result, a steep rise in the level of patients’ well-being is expected.
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Adeboye, A., Ross, M. W., Wilkerson, M. J., Springer, A., & Ahaneku, H. (2017). HIV vulnerability and coexisting psychosocial health problems among Tanzanian men who have sex with men from the perspective of an African syndemic model. Journal of Health Education Research and Development, 5(234), 2-10. Web.
Center for HIV Law and Policy. (2017). Florida. Web.
Lee, S., Yamazaki, M., Harris, D. R., Harper, G. W., & Ellen, J. (2015). Social support and human immunodeficiency virus-status disclosure to friends and family: Implications for human immunodeficiency virus-positive youth. Journal of Adolescent Health, 57(1), 73-80. Web.
Turner, A. (2015). Lost to care: An ethical expansion of the public health uses of State HIV registries in the United States. The Internet Journal of Public Health, 3(1), 1-9. Web.