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The Individualistic Approach to HIV Prevention

The Individualistic Approach to HIV Prevention Described in Sherr’s Paper

HIV has caused potential negative impacts globally. Several investigations on HIV and related challenges have been conducted. Prevention is indicated as an important approach in minimizing the impacts of HIV infection. Indicatively, there are several prevention strategies. There are also significant debates regarding the most effective preventive approach. Sherr examines the critical concepts about the individualistic approach to HIV prevention. Basically, the individualistic approaches focus on personality issues. The basic argument is that individuals have the capacity to minimize factors that make them susceptible to HIV infection. The social and other external factors that might cause HIV infection are not important in this approach. As indicated by Sherr, individuals are responsible for their own health or HIV status. Responsible sexual practices are some of the elements that are eminently stressed in this approach. Apart from this, an individual transformation of lifestyle and behavior change initiatives is vital.

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The individualistic approach to HIV prevention has notable strengths and limitations. For instance, the concept of personal behavior change is very crucial. This is because an individual’s lifestyle determines the level of susceptibility to HIV infection. This is also observable in some other lifestyle diseases. An example is an individual’s capacity to practice safer sex measures or abstain. The basic limitation of this approach is that it alienates other critical social and external factors. Indeed, there are social factors that contribute immensely to the level of susceptibility of an individual to HIV infection. These might include extreme poverty, illiteracy and, cultural practices among others.

The Emphasis on Collective Change, Social Communication an,d Social Practice

Various social strategies have been applied in an effort to combat HIV infection. This is notable within the developed and even the emergent world. Collective transformation, social communication, and practice are some of the strategic approaches to HIV prevention. Thornton, Low-Beer, and Stoneburner indicate the significance of these prevention strategies in the Ugandan context. As indicated by these investigators, there is importance in increased social communication, campaign, and awareness on HIV. These initiatives help to enlighten the entire population on the basic facts about the diseases. The basic logic in this approach is to obtain a significant portion of the informed population. They also indicate the significance of these initiatives in developing behavior change amongst individuals. There are constructive explanations on the different approaches of these strategies that are applicable. However, these explanations fail to indicate the extent to which these initiatives caused behavior change in Uganda.

The Differences between the 2 Approaches to HIV Prevention

There are notable differences between the individualistic approach of HIV prevention and social practice. Foremost, the individualistic approach targets character transformation through the influence of one personality. On the other hand, social practice advocates for a larger or wider social change. In this context, it might seek to address the notable social factors influencing susceptibility to HIV infection. The individualistic approaches do not address social factors that may lead to the increase in HIV prevalence within society. However, social practice entails advocacy and campaign against these factors. The social practice approaches have been widely applied in HIV and other health programs. This is relative to the individualistic approach. This is because social practice approaches may reach many audiences within a relatively short time. It is unlike the individualistic approach that focuses on one person.

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