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AIDS: Changing Faces
VIDEO COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. What populations are seeing the greatest increase in new HIV cases? Young people, people living in inner cities, women, minorities, and people infected heterosexually (which includes members of the previous groups) are experiencing the greatest increase in new HIV cases. Women comprise the fastest-growing population of new HIV cases, and blacks and Latinos combined now comprise the majority of new cases. Increases in minority infection are occurring because people who were infected by intravenous drug use are now spreading the virus sexually.
2. What are drug cocktails, and what are their benefits and drawbacks? Drug cocktails are combinations of drugs used to treat HIV infection. The primary benefit of drug cocktails is that they reduce viral load (the amount of virus in the blood), allowing an infected person to live a healthy life for a period of time. Unfortunately, drug cocktails have toxic side effects and are not a cure for HIV or AIDS; after a period of years, they can lose their effectiveness. They may also be contributing to a complacent attitude toward HIV, leading people to practice risky behavior.
3. Why are the rates of HIV infection in women growing so rapidly, and why do women often have a more difficult time coping with their infection than men do? More than 70 percent of HIV infected women today contracted the infection from their husbands or partners. The infection can be more difficult for women than for men because women have not had the same resources available to them, such as advocacy and support groups, and pointed medical research on the effects of HIV on women, because for many years HIV was characterized as a disease that affected gay, white men.
4. How do babies become infected from their mothers, and what can be done to minimize this risk? Most babies who become infected with HIV contract the virus when they pass through the birth canal, where HIV is present in blood and vaginal fluids. It is therefore a good idea for a pregnant woman who is infected with HIV to have a Cesarean section.
5. Why didn't communities of color pay attention to the AIDS crisis in the early years of the epidemic? Many people, including people of color, women, and drug users, didn't pay attention to the AIDS crisis as early as they should have because the disease was characterized early on as one that affected gay white men. They generally didn't think AIDS was a problem that would affect them.
6. Why do minorities often have trouble getting care for HIV and AIDS? Members of minority groups frequently don't have the same access to family support, therapy, and the health care system as nonminorities.