Homosexual people and HIV

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Introduction

It is esteemed that over thirty three million people in the world are living with HIV/AIDS, (WHO, 2009). The majority of people living with HIV are in developing countries, approximately 95% of the total. Sub-Saharan Africa has been hit especially hard. It is esteemed that nearly 70% of all HIV infected people live in this area and 90% of maternal-fetal transmission are occurring there. Compared with the adult transmission rate in developed countries which is lower than 1%, it is 8% in sub-Saharan Africa, (Boyle, 2000). New cases of HIV infection are reported every year and more and more people living with HIV are diagnosed AIDS as they get aged, (Vance, Struzick and Burrage, 2009). So far, there is no effective way to cure this disease. Antiretroviral treatment (ART) is the most effective way to treat people living with HIV. It significantly controls the virus load within patients’ bodies. It has been a great advance toward extending patients’ lifespan and improving their quality of life. Because of its therapeutic effect, many HIV positive people are able to live with this virus for many years. However, for many people, HIV/AIDS is still a stressful and demanding disease, (Van Dyk, 2007). On top of that, for many HIV infected people in developing countries, the cost of ART is prohibitively expensive. Poverty and a lack of resources are recognized as the most significant barriers which make caring for HIV-infected patients and effective prevention efforts virtually impossible in most developing countries, (Boyle, 2000). As social life is significantly effected in a negative way for this population by social stigma, life is only getting more difficult. People are afraid of being associated with HIV positive people due to two major seasons: A) the fear of being infected themselves; B) the discrimination surrounding the disease. Loneliness, helplessness and self-blame create a high suicidal ideation among HIV infected people. Therefore, they often need counseling and psychosocial support, (UNAIDS, 2008). There is a special sub-group of population that needs some extra attention: homosexual people. Research, (Kraaij, Van Der Veek, & Garnefski, et al, 2008) shows that HIV infection rate among homosexual people is around thirty times higher than average. In addition, health equality is far from available for everyone. Most homosexual people have witnessed or experienced discrimination from heterosexual people, (Gonsiorek & Weinrich, 1991, pp.15-20). This issue is much more severe in eastern countries due to the cultural background. Homosexual people may see HIV infection as blameworthy not only because of a self-protection motive but also because sexual risk reduction has been strongly promoted in the gay community. The relationship between sexual orientation an blame is anticipated, (Collins, 1994). No evidence shows that effective actions have been taken to stop highly risky behaviors which can cause HIV transmission, such as anal sex among men, drug abuse, et al. Statistics show that the estimated prevalence of past-5-year homosexual behavior among males was 6.2, 4.5 and 10.7 in the US, the UK and France, respectively. Similar or even higher prevalence was observed in other areas of the world,

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