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Drug Use and AIDs AIDS is a disease that has altered

AIDS is a disease that has altered a number of societal practices and patterns in a relatively short time. The disease has been known widely for no more than about 15 years, and in that time it has had a profound effect on human sexual behavior in Western society. Not every community or group is affected by AIDS in the same way, which is also one reason the scientific, medical, and governmental response was so slow in developing. AIDS has had its greatest effect in what are considered by many to be marginal communities rather than the mainstream, marginal in the sense of minority and stigmatized, like the homosexual community and the population that uses illegal intravenous drugs. Arguably, it was only with clear evidence that the disease was spreading into the non-drug-using heterosexual community that a stronger response from government and the medical community was forthcoming. AIDS has been devastating to those who are part of these marginal subcultures. The psychological effects of AIDS have been strong in the IV-drug using community, though this has not necessarily meant a change in behavior in a positive direction. Rather than abstaining from the practices that spreads AIDS, many drug users see this as only one more reason for the despair that drove them to drug use in the first place, and they use drugs even more as a way of escaping. In addition, many users are interested only in the immediate effects of their drug use and do not think past that to any consequences that might accrue to them from, say, sharing needles or having unprotected sex with other drug users. An examination of the literature will show what has been discovered about the psychological effects of AIDS on drug users.

The basic means of transmission of the AIDS virus involves the exchange of bodily fluids either through unprotected sexual intercourse or through the sharing of needles by intravenous drug users. Friedman and des Jarlais (1991) cit...

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Drug Use and AIDs AIDS is a disease that has altered. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:47, June 25, 2021, from