Hiv and Aids Essay

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Introduction AIDS has challenged several aspects of contemporary social life and conventional approaches to health care. The social and medical responses to diseases have probably not been challenged so intensely for a long time. One social response to HIV/AIDS that has received much attention is the counselling of people affected by the disease. This paper reviews pertinent issues that must be considered when counselling people who are affected. These are discussed from the point of view of goals of counselling derived from two different counselling situations: counselling for the prevention of transmission that addresses both infected and non-infected people and counselling for the provision of psychological support for those who are affected. Counselling in HIV/AIDS care is unique but there are similarities and differences between counselling in HIV/AIDS care and counselling for general health promotion. The meaning of Counseling To counsel means ‘to advise, to recommend, to advocate, to exhort, to suggest, to urge’ (Oxford Dictionary 1996:131). However, counselling as a concept, as observed by Miller and Bor (1991), has many interpretations. Whatever its goals, counselling is directed towards assisting people to take decisions, to effect a change, to prevent problems or crises or to manage them when they arise. Hopson (1981) thus, from a problem-solving perspective, saw counselling as helping people to explore problems and clarify conflicting issues, and to discover alternative ways of dealing with the problems by taking appropriate decisions and action. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) causes AIDS. The virus attacks the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable to a variety of life-threatening infections and cancers. Common bacteria, yeast, parasites, and viruses that usually do not cause serious disease in people with healthy immune systems can

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