Crisis Intervention: Theory and Methodology

By Donna C. Aguilera | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 11
Persons with
AIDS/HIV

Temporis ars medicina fere est.

The art of medicine is usually a matter of tie.

On n December 22, 1996, the Associated Press announced in the Los Angeles Times that Time Magazine's 1996 Man of the Year was acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) researcher Dr. David Ho, who pioneered a treatment for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection that has shown promise in beating back the deadly disease. Time said that his work "might, just might, lead to a cure."

In 1996, 3.1 million people became HIV-infected, bringing the worldwide total to 22.6 million people living with HIV or AIDS. As long as HIV exists somewhere in the world it threatens us all (Purvis, 1997). But at last there is a ray of hope; Dr. Ho has given those with HIV and those who will be diagnosed in the near future a chance for recovery.

AIDS is tightening its grip outside the United States and Western Europe. In India, researchers estimate that by the year 2000, anywhere from 15 million to 50 million people could be HIV-positive. Half of the prostitutes in Bombay are already infected, and physicians report that the disease is spreading along major truck routes and into rural areas, as migrant workers bring the virus home. In Central and Eastern Europe, countries that had largely escaped the epidemic are seeing an explosion in the number of cases, mainly among IV drug users and their heterosexual contacts.

Across much of Africa, the disease continues to rage unchecked. Already the sub-Saharan region accounts for more than 60% of people living with HIV worldwide, or some 14 million men, women, and children. As many people will die there this year from the disease as were massacred 2 years ago in the Rwandan holocaust. The social consequences of this die-off are catastrophic. By the year 2000, nearly 2 million children in Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia will have lost their parents to the disease (Purvis, 1997).

The "cocktail" treatments are financially out of reach for those living in Central and Eastern Europe and Africa. A more effective alternative is prevention, through

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