The overall levels and spread of HIV infection is one of the most difficult challenges faced by global healthcare. HIV incidence remains the highest among homosexual and bisexual men compared to other groups despite the recent developments in healthcare for HIV positive patients. Almost half of the HIV positive patients in Florida are reported to be men who had sex with men (MSM) (Cook et al., 2018). The treatment of patients in the south of the country is very complex due to ethical concerns that involve the LGBTQ community.
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Approximately more than 100 thousand people in Florida were identified as having HIV related diseases in 2017. The majority of the affected were male people with a background of intercourse with the same sex (Algarin et al., 2019). Since the first revelation of the epidemic, there has been confusion regarding the spread of the disease. It was widely believed that the disorder affects only homosexual individuals due to the high prevalence among the group.
Unfortunately, this and other stereotypes deteriorate the quality of treatment and prevention methods of AIDS. Homophobia and discrimination pose potential physical and mental health problems to gay and bisexual men and may hinder the obtaining of professional health services. Medicine always privileged heterosexual representatives over other groups, which resulted in the distrust of patients to the healthcare providers.
The factors that influence the high incidence of the infection around Florida are the absence of health insurance and workplace, poverty, and other socio-economic aspects. Thus, preventive organizations pay much attention to individuals from unwealthy families. However, they do not put the needed focus on the support and assistance of gay and transgender people who are often at risk (Singh, 2016).
For example, prisoners are quite often involved in a homosexual relationship with their inmates. They are prone to unprotected sex due to the unavailability of preservatives and control in cells (Cook et al., 2018). There is a need for policies that would inform the prisoners about the risk and supply with the means of contraception.
Moreover, gay and bisexual HIV-positive patients are often in danger of revealing their sexual preferences during treatment. This prevents infected people from reporting on time to hospitals and leads to the complication of the disease. The fear of oppressive social behavior after the revelation of the information is a big issue in overcoming HIV among homosexual men. Therefore, the ethical working procedure is recommended when the prevention and medication procedures are carried. Healthcare workers need to provide the document on non-disclosure of the personal information of the patient.
Furthermore, it is essential to provide proper education on the concepts of infection and ways of preventing HIV. According to Algarin et al. (2019), Florida’s data suggest that there is little information on the need for contraceptives and oral drugs that secures from HIV infection among the population. Only a few people know that the possibility of HIV infection is higher through anal sex rather than other ways of intercourse (Cook et al., 2018). Consequently, education about the way of the spread of the disorder and methods of protection should be more detailed.
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To sum up, there are many misconceptions regarding the passage of HIV among men with different sexual preferences. The problem of high incidence of the disease among homosexual and bisexual individuals in Florida is still present. Discrimination against gay and bisexual people leads to the ignorant behavior of medical personnel. Additionally, there is a little knowledge about the infection among the society in Florida. The state’s governmental and healthcare systems should focus on education of the public and the providence of contraceptives in poor regions and prisons.
Algarin, A. B., Zhou, Z., Cook, C. L., Cook, R. L., & Ibañez, G. E. (2019). Age, sex, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation: Intersectionality of marginalized-group identities and enacted HIV-related stigma among people living with HIV in Florida. AIDS and Behavior, 23(11), 2992–3001. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-019-02629-y
Cook, C. L., Staras, S. A. S., Zhou, Z., Chichetto, N., & Cook, R. L. (2018). Disclosure of HIV serostatus and condomless sex among men living with HIV/AIDS in Florida. Plos One, 13(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207838
Singh, J. A. (2016). Ethical issues to consider in the design of HIV prevention trials involving transgender people. Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 72. https://doi.org/10.1097/qai.0000000000001089