Policy Advocacy Assignment : Human Immunodeficiency Virus ( Hiv )

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Policy Advocacy Assignment Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is an incurable illness that can lead to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) - a life-threatening condition (CDC.gov). According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1, 218, 4000 people aged 13 and older are living with HIV in the United States. In the initial stages of receiving a positive diagnosis, a person may experience a mix of emotions as they process the way the disease will affect his or her life (Kalipa, Bereda-Thakhathi, Tshotsho, & Goon, 2014). In addition, those who choose to disclose their positive status may also have to face the stigma associated with the disease; and discrimination from family, friends, and other community…show more content…
Historical Background Since the emergence of the HIV epidemic in the early 1980s, strategies have been put into place by state governments to help with the spread of the HIV virus from those who are HIV-positive to those in the general public who are HIV-negative (Lehman et al., 2014). Some of the laws that have been enacted by the state have protected the rights and liberties of individuals with HIV; for example, the laws promoting HIV screening and the enactment of federal laws that protect the confidentiality of HIV-positive persons (Neff & Goldschmidt, 2011; aspe.hhs.gov). But on the other hand, in addition to implementing laws that protected the HIV population, some States also enacted laws that criminalized individuals living with HIV/AIDS (Lazzarini, Bray, & Burris, 2002). Formally known as HIV-specific laws, these pieces of legislation were, and are still intended to criminalize HIV individuals by penalizing HIV-positive persons who engage in actions that can potentially expose the HIV virus to others (Galletly et al., 2014). The first of these laws were first seen in 1986, and were passed by the state governments of Florida, Tennessee, and Washington (Lehman et al., 2014). The laws were developed due to a belief that they would deter HIV positive people from behaving in a

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