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Jordan Loewe Sex Health AIDs Discussion February 10, 2012

Rough Draft Argumentation Paper

In our world today most people are unaware of the statistics of the number of individuals with AIDs and HIV in our society. They also assume most carriers live outside of the United States, in under developed countries or people living in poverty. When looking at the number of carriers in our country, it is clear that we cannot solely blame this on their living environment or government. On the other hand, we cannot solely blame the individual either. This is definitely an ongoing argument in our world today. One side of the controversy says the individual is ultimately responsible for who they have sex with. This is true however, the other side of the issue says that there are countries that cannot afford healthcare or who are not aware of this fatal disease and have to reproduce to keep their country alive and prospering or everyone would just eventually die out. Is reproducing an infected generation better than no generation at all? There are some societies out there with more than half of their people infected. Does this mean their government is socially unjust? Who is to blame in this situation? There is much controversy across the globe whether the spread of HIV and AIDs is an individuals responsibility or the responsibility of the environment, I personally believe both parties partake in this issue and social unjust cannot be measured by human health. When comparing the statistics of the sick people in the world today, six of the top ten illnesses are from tobacco use, alcohol use, obesity, and unprotected sex (Resnik). Do you notice a trend in these habits? All of these root back to the individuals responsibility. If more than half the diseases in our country are all from our own lack of healthy decisions then the spread of disease is really our own fault. The modes of transmission for the spread of AIDs and HIV around the world are unsafe sex, transmission from infected mother to child, use of infected blood or blood products, intravenous drug use with contaminated needles, and things such as bleeding or open wounds (Barnett). When you analyze their modes that spread this horrible disease, it is evident that every single one of these are within the individuals control. For example, unsafe sex is almost always a choice, drug and needle use is a choice, when a woman becomes impregnated, it was her personal choice to have sex knowing she is infected with this disease. People say that its not the infected persons fault when that cannot afford health care but the rising cost of healthcare is due to the rising illnesses that come from lack of individual healthy life choices. Given the well documented relationship between lifestyle, disease burden and healthcare costs, it makes economic and medical sense to hold individuals morally responsible for their healthrelated choices (Resnik). These are all very valid points that persuade people to think that the spread of AIDS is solely blamed on the individual and that there is more to social unjust that human health. The other side of the argument has very valid points as well. While individuals often have the ability to take care of their own health, they lack the ability to promote health at the population or environmental level. Government action is required to monitor diseases, control infections, engage in urban planning, guarantee the safety of food and drugs, minimize pollution and sponsor basic biomedical research (Resnik). This is why people often blame the spread of disease on the countries government or on the environment they live in. Another reason is because in other countries, outside the United States, the infection rate is much greater. Although there are many infected individuals, they still have to

reproduce as a part of life and keeping there country alive and prospering (Mwaura). We have to keep in mind that this is sometimes there only option if they want to have children. Is no children better than an infected child? An elderly Ugandan Woman states I dont mind dying, but to die without having a child is more painful because I shall go to my grave knowing that nobody will remember my name, (Barnett). People of these countries dont care if they are infected, they still want to have their children and live their life. Although they dont have the money and resources we do, it is unfair to take away their right to have children as well. People will go great lengths to find education, employment, and housing. Sometimes those lengths may include provision of sexual favors (Barnett). Sometimes this just cant be blamed on the individual; it is beyond their control and they are not given the same opportunities as everybody else. It is difficult for me to take a side on this issue because I agree with all points. I think it really depends on where you live and your personal situation. I believe there are many things an individual can do to protect themselves from disease and make healthy choices in their life. Some countries have many more choices and opportunities than others, that is why this is so difficult to talk about as a whole. After researching both the individuals responsibility on the disease and the environment and governments contribution as well, it is very obvious that we cannot truthfully say that it is all the individuals responsibility or all the governments responsibility; both parties are to blame. As an individual, we need to fulfill our duties as healthy citizens. As a nation, the government needs to have secure and affordable health care and have adequate care and medication for the sickly.

Works Cited Resnik, DB. "Responsibility for Health: Personal, Social, and Environmental." Responsibility for Health: Personal, Social, and Environmental. BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & Institute of Medical Ethics, Aug. 2007. Web. 16 Feb. 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598168/>. Barnett, Tony, and Alan Whiteside. AIDS in the Twenty-first Century: Disease and Globalization. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2002. Print. Oglethorpe, Judy. HIV/AIDS and the Environment: Impacts of AIDS and Ways to Reduce Them. WWF. Print. Fact Sheet for the Conservation Community. Mwaura, Peter. "Governments Urged to Leads AIDS Fight; Africa Recovery Volume 2." Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World. Web. 17 Feb. 2012. <http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/subjindx/122aids.htm>.