The Threat of HIV in Adolescent Population

Nowadays, it is hard to find a person, who knows nothing about HIV infection. People want to know more about this disease to take any precautions and identify interventions as early as possible, and researchers are ready to offer their own ideas and attitudes to the problems. As a rule, adolescents are a group of people under a threat of getting HIV very quickly due to numerous uncontrolled sexual acts or wrong use of substances and inability to pay attention to the educative material about the required portion of HIV infection prevention and HIV sexual risk behavior. Many researchers admit that HIV and its relation to adolescents is a topic for urgent consideration because a possibility to avoid mortal outcomes and take precautions still exists; adolescent population has just to believe in their own urgency and abilities and overcome the barriers they create (Rudy et al., 2009; Thompson & Auslander, 2011).

Adolescents with HIV infection is a topic discussed in numerous journals, magazines, Internet sources, etc. Each researcher has his/her own position and is ready to support it by means of numerous investigations, interviews, analyses, and evaluations. For example, DiClemente et al. (2004) identify African American girls as a “subgroup at particular high risk of HIV infection” (p. 171), and Voisin and Bird (2009) admit that African American male adolescents face bigger problems with HIV infection as it is still hard to understand “the factors associated with sexual risk behaviors within this group” (p. 201). These writers do focus on the ethical aspect of the problem but fail to focus on the representatives of other groups of people.

When Thompson and Auslander (2011) evaluate mental health problems of adolescents and the possible reasons of substance use that leads to HIV, they underline that HIV prevention has to be beyond any adolescent social and emotional problems. Rudy with his colleagues (2009) still believe that certain attention to mental health and personal attitude to HIV and its impact on human lives my considerably improve the quality of prevention interactions. People with mental health problems like depression or anxiety have to pass longer way of HIV treatment in comparison to those, who are mentally healthy.

Rudy et al (2009) make a powerful attempt to identify the main barriers that adolescents with HIV may face with and explain a possible coexistence of the barriers with the factors influencing adherence to treatment. The authors focus on a patient factor, medication factor, and care system factor and define the barriers adolescents should overcome in order to survive (Rudy et al., 2009). If Rudy et al insist on coexistence of mental health problems and some other factors while HIV treatment, Thompson and Auslander (2011) refuse any other variables except “substance use, mental health problems, and HIV sexual risk behaviors” (p.40). Self-efficacy and outcome expectancy are also such types of personal barriers that define the quality of HIV treatment.

The issue of HIV among adolescents causes a number of disputes. Scientists are ready to introduce a number of interesting details to prove their chosen positions are correct. Still, they forget about one interesting aspect – the reader wants to know not only how to avoid HIV infection but also how to behave when the problem has already come. This is why it is possible to unite the investigations offered in the chosen field and inform the reader from different aspects. For example, DiClemente et al (2004) evaluates girls’ behavior and the process of making decisions that lead to HIV infection. Voisin and Bird (2009) introduce a male position to the problem. The evaluation of their actions and outcomes of their decisions may create a solid basis for many people in need and offer the required portion of explanations of why adolescent population suffers from HIV infection and which precautions may be taken to overcome a problem. The ideas of Rudy et al (2009) and Thompson and Auslander (2011) introduce a good guide of how to combine personal problems and attitudes with HIV treatment in order to achieve the best results within a short period of time.

In general, the analysis of literature helps to understand that the problem of HIV and its relation to adolescent population is burning indeed. It does not matter how many people have already investigated the topic, there will be always some issues to discuss. The main task of any successful researcher is to consider the already known information, introduce some personal ideas, and prove the necessity of the chosen topic. HIV in adolescent population will be always full of interesting concepts because science, medicine, and other spheres of life develop all the time. New ways of treatment are offered, unique answers are given, and captivating conclusions are made. US adolescents face a number of personal and social problems that make them the victims of HIV infection, and adherence to certain norms and rules is crucial. This is what should be discussed in further works in order to contribute the sphere of HIV infection treatment and help people with HIV problems overcome various challenges.

Reference List

DiClemente, R.J., Wingood, G.M., Harrington, K.F., & Lang, D. L. (2004). Efficacy of an HIV prevention intervention for African American adolescent girls: A randomized controlled trial. JAMA, 292(2), 171-179.

Rudy, B.J., Murphy, D.A., Harris, D.R., Muenz, L., & Ellen, J. (2009). Patient-related risks for nonadherence to antiretroviral therapy among HIV-infected youth in the United States: A study of prevalence and interactions. AIDS Patient Care and Standards, 23(3), 185-194.

Thompson, R. G. & Auslander, W.F. (2011). Substance use and mental health problems as predictors of HIV sexual risk behaviors among adolescents in foster care. Health and Social Work, 36(1), 33-43.

Voisin, D.R. & Bird, J.D.P. (2009). What African American male adolescents are telling us about HIV infection among their peers: Cultural approaches for HIV prevention. Social Work, 54(3), 201-210.

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