Ethical issues in Hiv/Aids Prevention
Odhiambo, Ondik G
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HIV/AIDS has been a challenge to the human race since it was officially identified as a killer condition! disease in the 1980s. It being a killer disease/condition and its very common mode of transmission (sexual) and the mystery surrounding its origin made the condition to be perceived differently and harshly to the detriment of the very human beings. This therefore called for some strategies to be put in place to prevent the transmission of the virus and at least contain it. Some of the strategies which have been put in place are testing, condom, abstinence and being faithful. These strategies may look simple in theory but when it comes to the practical part, that their implementation they raise a lot of ethical issues that need to be identified, addressed and analyzed. With this in mind, the research aimed at identifying the ethical issues that arise from each preventive strategy especially with regard to their implementation as this is the area where so many issues that require critical attention emerge. The first preventive strategy that the research sought to discuss was that of testing. Issues to do with how the testing ought to be done, who is to be tested, who pays for the more accurate and expensive tests, how to take care of the false positive or negative tests and how one deals with the resultant implications of testing are some issues that are identified and discussed in the project. Condom usage, abstinence and being faithful to one partner were also subjected to the same ethical reasoning guided by Kantian Categorical Imperative. The analysis were meant to not only point at the ethical issues but also give a picture of what could become of the human race if they were totally ignored even if they raise ethical issues. After analysis of all the preventive measures, issues like informed consent, confidentiality and truth telling came out as some of the key issues that need further clarification based on the human will and a duty by all human beings to effectively prevent HIV spread. These issues when strictly followed, the whole fight against mV/AIDS may be hampered but when loosely followed, they may result into violation of human rights. However when people embrace the good will and have a moral duty as VI Kant proposes, for everybody and themselves, these issues may pose no serious ethical dilemmas when it comes to the prevention ofIllV/AIDS. The work found out that there are indeed ethical issues that arise from the current IllV/ AIDS preventive strategies but they can be addressed when everybody concerned and infected have a moral duty and obligation to do so. This is only possible after proper and genuine education which is inclusive. Voluntary testing also emerged as the best preventive strategy in that it informs the course of the other preventive strategies but this is based on the assumption that human beings will embrace the Kantian Categorical Imperative which is actually driven by reason and hinges on a duty and a moral obligation to self and others.