Aids And The Toll On Families
Like most diseases, the person who has it is not the only one who is impacted by it. Fatal diseases have the
highest degree of impact on all family members and close friends. The diagnosis alone instills fear, anxiety,
sadness and a number of other equally intensive emotions.
Aids have been wrecking havoc on families for a little over two decades. It has spread from individuals to
partners, to families and communities. Now the spread has reached regions, and across continents to have a global
Families turn to many medical professionals for care and advice as well as for counseling to deal with issues
that arise when trying to come to terms with a fatal disease. Some of the additional faces of AIDS are those
belonging to the victims of AIDS as well as those who are involved in the AIDS issues. These faces are varied and
span many segments of society.
Over the years AIDS has developed several additional faces: the face of a health issue, the economic face, the
security face and the face of human rights. There are many suffering and compassionate, understanding faces as
well. Some of the faces you may encounter are: moms, dads, children, grandparents, drug users, medical
professionals, sex businesses, the impoverished, homosexuals, young people, aids activists, governmental agencies
and AIDS organizations.
Did You Know?
The signs of symptoms of AIDS or HIV are different depending on what stage the
infection is in. When a person is first infected they may have flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph
nodes but recover quickly.
This flu-like sickness may occur two to six weeks after being infected and is not always associated
with the possibility of HIV infection. Even if you do not have any of these symptoms until years
later, you can still infect other people with the virus.
Once your body is invaded with the HIV or AIDS virus, your immune system is under attack. Even
though you may not be having any symptoms, you can still pass the disease on to another person.
Meanwhile, even if you are symptom free, your cells that coordinate your immune system are slowly
You can remain this way for as many as ten years but during that time you will begin it experience
more frequent infections as your immune cells are destroyed.
You may experience chronic symptoms such as diarrhea, weight loss, shortness of breath, cough,
fever, and unexplained weight loss.
Governments have the responsibility to implement programs that address not only the healthcare issues
surrounding AIDS, but the security, and support issues as well. Governments call upon the assistance of state and
local governments, civil groups, the United Nations and those in the private sector. Governmental agencies are set
up to address the many security issues that range from protecting blood supply and donated organs to protecting the
rights of those with AIDS.
The economic face of AIDS is sad and depressed. If the head of the household is the one who contracts AIDS the
family can suffer a devastating loss of income that can plunge them rapidly into poverty. The cost of medical care
is high and requires that as the disease progresses that family members take time off from work or school to care
for the AIDS family member/patient. The difficult fact is that AIDS is a fatal disease and when the adult family
members die, children can become orphans, or are raised in single-parent families that are typically facing
difficult economic uncertainty or rough times with only one income source. There will be the cost of funeral and
any left over medical bills to pay.
Researchers are trying to develop a chemical that can be used during sex as a
barrier to passing on the disease.
Statistics tell us that 14 million children worldwide are facing a life without one of their
parents and in some cases they have lost both of their parents to AIDS. Emotional and Mental impact of a child
losing a parent cannot be measured. The child suffers the immediate loss of the emotional and economic security
they had come to rely on. The child will also suffer the loss of adult guidance and cultural and familial heritage
that only the special ties of a parent can impart. Other may try to duplicate these values to the child and the
child may benefit from other caregivers but the loss cannot be duplicated as closely as having the original parent