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Why Is Public Health A Controversial Issue?

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Attempts to resist any change that will directly or indirectly involve spending public money are challenged by the opposition group. For instance the drug regiments introduce in the mid-1990s that are capable of controlling the damage HIV/AIDS virus wreaks in the immune system was costing an average of $10,500 for a year’s supply. Often times when public health makes their recommendation for ways of preventing and controlling sexually transmitted diseases, government and businesses have an obligation to determine the cause and effect that the recommendation will have on the economy for its affordability and the effect it might have on the general economy.

Politics plays a very prominent role in how public health responds to sexually transmitted diseases. It plays important role because some politicians will not be willing and open to bring upon their constituents any expensive public health measures that would impose additional hardship to his constituents. Consequently, passing such bills will mean denying themselves their constituents vote during elections. These controversies are in part what they are because according to those who pay for the public health measures are not the ones that benefit from it; if bills are not sponsored and pass by the legislators then there is no funding which impacts heavily on how public health responds to situations especially those of sexually transmitted diseases like STDs and HIV/AIDS. Another way politics play an important role could be seen when President Bush forces the center for the disease control to change an effective sex education which involves the use of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS with a false data of condom failure rates.

US constitution weighs heavily on individuals liberty and as such every decision, be it for the sake of public health or justice must put into consideration the individuals liberty before the public’s interest which is why Beauchamp’s arguments in favor of limiting individual’s liberty for the common good is consistent with his view of public health as a social justice. Although we are made to believe that the value of an individual’s liberty may be more important than the interest of the public health, and safety, this only applies to the certain issues but not in all situations. The government will go along with public health recommendations. Even if it infringes on an individual’s liberty if there is no controversies with such recommendations.

Religion and morals with regards to the sexually transmitted diseases particularly the HIV/AIDS was fulminated by the fundamentalist preachers and conservative legislators as God’s punishment for abominable behavior and that people with HIV/AIDS deserved their fate. If half of those whose resources funds the public health issues still believe the above statement, then it definitely will affect the role that public health plays in responding to the prevention and control of diseases such as STD and HIV/AIDS.

Challenges and controversies that exist for HIV/AIDS outside United States include funding treatment for those living with HIV/AIDS. Funding is needed to train more medical staff, avoid drug shortages, combine HIV/AIDS care with care for other health problems, reduce HIV stigma and discrimination and make sure that more people use HIV/AIDS counseling and testing services.

Other challenges include the morals and religious issues in educating people on how to control and prevent sexually transmitted infections in some countries. For example, in some cultures discussion of HIV/AIDS is perceive as a taboo and are not welcome for public discussion.

Market Justice emphasizes on individual responsibility and obligation. This line of thought prevents fair distribution of the burdens and benefits of society. While Social Justice infers that distribution of wealth should be a fundamental rights to all strata of income levels. These ideologies are relevant in the sense that individuals that are successful in the society have the resources to fund the HIV/AIDS disease than the less unfortunate members of the society.

Political interference has played important role in this issue because some politicians have used this opportunity to advance their political ideologies. For example, Bush administration was opposed to programs that promote condoms but favors programs that emphasizes on effectiveness of abstinence.

Economics, politics, the value of individual liberty, religion, and morals all play a huge role on how public health responds to the prevention and control of sexually transmitted disease, including HIV/AIDS. These diseases affect most of the public health and they seek the government financially for treatment. The government has to budget money to spend on those infected by these diseases. Each segment of the government’s economics is affected. They have to create clinics, hire qualified staff, and provide money grants to support these places. Most of the public health clinics are free and provide services to those who have no insurance. The financial support for STDS has been a strain on the government and continues to be due to the stabilization of these diseases.

For the prevention of STDS, politics has significantly been involved in the intervention in public health. For example, according to the CDC doctors were recommended to do routinely HIV-testing to many of their patients. This happened especially to those who were asking for STD testing, those who may have symptoms of tuberculosis, or pregnant woman coming in for their routine visits. Furthermore, these actions are a progression in the government’s implementation in the wellbeing of the public health. However, it is still controversial because an individual’s market justice can be violated. They still have the right to opt out of this recommendation.

The value of individual liberty represents the choice by people to accept support through public health. In the case of support from STDS, individuals have the choice to be treated and receive information educating them on prevention. The government can intervene by providing them treatment but also protection to promote safe sex. They also intervene by providing laws that mandate individuals to be reported the health department about those who are infected by HIV/AIDS. This can become controversial in the fact that those who are infected with the disease rights to privacy can be taken away. However, there goal is to make sure that everyone is protected and government policies on public health are implemented.

Religion and morals have similar views when it comes to the topic of HIV/AIDS. They do not support any investments made to do research and find cures for the disease. While the government provides prevention and protection through education by distributing condoms in clinics, religious clergy are against this. They believe in abstinence and use the Bible to support their ideologies. They also do not believe schools should discuss ways of protection from diseases to students. Hence, this will provide reasons for them to engage in sexual activity.

HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic that continues to spread to every part of the world. Many people in other countries still are not educated on ways to protect themselves and receive treatment. Condoms are not easily available as it is in the United States to be protected from these diseases. Many people do not even know they have it and continue to spread it amongst each other. Funding for education and prevention continues to still be the number one challenge for these countries.

The government in each country has to take accountability for their citizens and seek help from first-world countries that can aid in assistance. If they can invest money into mass communication to promote HIV/AIDS prevention then this can allow people to know how they can take initiative in their own health. Once they are informed it is up to an individual to protect themselves. The government can not force people because their market and social justice could be violated. They can only continue to provide resources and hopefully make a difference to lessen the spread of HIV/AIDS.

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Source by Tiffany K. Foster

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