It is reported that since June of 1981 an estimate 1.7 million people in the United States have been infected with HIV and more than 580,000 have died. There are several social and cultural aspects within society that must be addressed in order to increase prevention and early detection (CDC, 2009).
One main concern is racial/ ethnic disparities, in communities of color there is a need to increase programs for more education and prevention. It is also important that once a person becomes aware of their status they are provided with the proper counseling, testing and prevention services. Studies have shown that once a person becomes aware of a positive HIV status they are likely to decrease risk behavior and reduce transmission (Holtgrave et al, 2007).
Another way to increase prevention would be to provide people who are currently living with HIV the proper the care and treatment. Because there are so many Americans currently living with this disease funding needs to continue to be put forth towards programs that provide towards helping them maintain a normal lifestyle. Recent studies show that programs that are effective at improving the lifespan of a person living with HIV and earning less than 250% of the federal poverty level should be an entitlement because it could possibly reduce infection at the individual level (Holtgrave et al, 2007). Programs of this nature could definitely benefit single mothers.
Other prevention methods include breaking down barriers of the stigma associated with the disease. Many people still believe that it is a disease only for people that are drug users or homosexual and that people that become infected have lead a lifestyle to deserve them of this horrible disease. There still needs to be a public broadcast of education worldwide that ANYONE can spread and contract this disease until this is realized it will not be prevented.