HIV is a fast growing disease that has been with people for quite some time now. Since it came to prominence in the early 80’s till the present, the disease has caused quite a stir and affected so many people and modern attitudes towards sex. It would be quite naïve to say that HIV has had no effect on people today. The opposite would be the more apt way to describe HIV today. HIV has affected modern society and changed the way we view attitudes towards sex in general.
What is HIV?
HIV is a disease that affects and directly attacks an individual’s immune system. It effectively renders the person’s immune system weakened and vulnerable to many diseases and conditions it would normally consider as not even a threat. Once this stage occurs, HIV can no longer be considered HIV. It has progressed into full blown AIDS. This is the most devastating and fatal stage of HIV. A person in this stage is often literally helpless to even minor viruses in the air and must be kept in a constant state of quarantine and confinement. At this point, therapy and counselling are the only options available to the patient.
How is HIV contracted?
HIV can be contracted in a number of ways. The most common and prominent way to contract HIV is through sexual contact. This is the way that gets the most press and is the most highlighted. The other methods are through blood transfusion with contaminated blood, sharing of needles contaminated with HIV infected blood, or infected pregnant women transferring HIV to their unborn children. The most high risk group of individuals for HIV are homosexuals however heterosexuals with various sexual partners are also considered high risk groups.
HIV’s impact on modern society’s values and culture
Perhaps the most significant impact that HIV has done in the present is through it’s impact on modern culture, values, and sexual activities in general. HIV reached prominence in the 80’s a decade known for it’s general loose attitude towards sex and more liberated views. Liberal views and freedom are still there, but it seems because HIV is out there people are just a bit more aware and careful to have casual sex. The disease has raised awareness to the dangers of STDs in general. In effect HIV is one big cautionary tale, the modern day version of the Big Bad Wolf, the monster that kills unsuspecting teens in horror movies and the like. It is a grim reminder to be very careful when engaging in casual sex and the consequences that could arise. That is why more and more people are using condoms and other protection when engaging in casual sex. It is a sign of the times and the awareness of people today. HIV is actually quite treatable. It is not the scourge or the death sentence it once was This is as long as it is discovered in it’s early stages. There is modern treatments out there. However, it’s impact and cautionary message cannot be ignored.