Desktop version

Home arrow Sociology arrow Human rights and social justice in a global perspective : an introduction to international social work


China has developed a policy entitled “Four Frees and One Care” under which people are provided with free antiretroviral drugs, free prevention of mother-to-child transmission, free testing and counseling, free schools for AIDS orphans, and care for people infected with HIV or AIDS at sites across the country (UNICEF, n.d.a). Orphanages have been developed for children who have lost parents to the disease and do not have any relatives able to look after them. Children feel that these orphanages offer the advantages of providing basics, such as shelter, food, and clothing, as well as education, health care, and psychosocial support. However, children felt restricted by the regulations on movement, as well as experiencing stigma for living in an orphanage designated for those affected by AIDS (Zhao et al., 2009).


To combat the reluctance to be tested for HIV due to the stigma associated with the disease, Botswana has implemented routine testing of everyone who seeks medical care. Pretesting counseling as practiced in Western nations, with its full disclosure about the impact of the disease if the person were positive, did not work well in Botswana, as no one wanted to be tested by the end of the session. With routine testing, people are identified earlier in the progression of the disease, making it more likely that medication can assist them. It is part of a standard exam, and it has an “opt out” clause. Wives who suspect their husbands may have infected them no longer have to be tested surreptitiously; they are tested as a routine procedure, freeing them from potentially violent repercussions at home. This has all helped to reduce the stigma associated with testing and with the disease, leading to increased ability to fight it (LaFraniere, 2004). Specific services have been developed for couples, children, and adolescents and people with disabilities, but these services are still underutilized (Ministry of Health-Botswana, 2012).

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >

Related topics