Women and HIV/AIDS
Healthcare is the area that needs careful job in the process of making a concept or a topic of a new policy. It requires very precise work on all the stages as it is an area which will influence a lot of people. This paper will show all of the stages that the topic has to go through to become a policy. It takes three of them, and the paper will show the peculiarities of each of them. The topic also provides information concerning the issue of women and HIV/AIDS which will demonstrate their rights and the violation of latter. It actually will explain the importance of the topics to become a policy.
Various healthcare topics are the areas which are the most debated by the government. It happens so because these topics can affect all of the people around the world or in a particular country. However, when the topic becomes the policy, it will be implemented in every state of the country. There are some topics which are ignored despite they should be turned into policy for protecting the right of a certain group. It actually concerns the topic “Women and HIV/AIDS.” That is why practically every topic which originally was just an idea has to go thought three main stages to become a policy. These are the above indicated formulation, legislative, and implementation stages.
Completing the Policy Process
The first step is a formulation stage. This is a stage which shows that the topic should be issues that need the government input to be solved. In the process of formulation stage, the information ought to be gathered to prove the necessity for a healthcare topic to be transformed into policy. In the case of topics concerning women and HIV/AIDS, the data is to be gathered from many various sources. As a matter of fact, when the epidemic started in 1980, HIV/AIDS was first considered being the disease of homosexuals. Nevertheless, soon the illness was identified in women, and the scientific community made the women their target population. However, the high rates of HIV/ AIDS among females concern not only the U.S., but also the rates worldwide. The facts are such that, in 2007, 46 percent of people who lived with HIV/AIDS (that was about 15.4 million) – were women (AMFAR, 1). On the early stages of epidemic, HIV infections and AIDS were found as the diagnosis only for relatively few women and female adolescents. Indeed, HIV infection was on the 5th place of death causes among all women whose age was from 35 to 44 years. On the other side, it was on the 6th position among diseases which was causing death among women who were younger than 24 years (CDC, 2011, p. 1). Generally speaking, women and girls make more than half of people who live around the world. Nonetheless, persons hope that the rates of HIV might be reduced at least to 50 percent by 2015. The numbers are big. Moreover, they were rising from 2008 through 2011. For women aged 20-29, they became bigger, for all of the other age they decreased. However, in 2011, the highest rates were among women whose age was lower 25 – 36.4 percent. When we speak about the ethnicity, we can see that the number of Asians with HIV increased a lot. The situation with Europeans was stable through 2011. It is also important to take into account the death rates. In the United States, the approximate number of women who were diagnosed with HIV was stable (CDC, 2011, pp. 1-16). Nowadays, the levels are different, and women account only for 20 percent of new HIV infections in the USA. The worst situation is with women of color, especially black women as they are the representatives of the majority of females around the world who live with the disease and who are newly affected. The problem is that most women with HIV do not have regular care and at least 25 percent of them are virally repressed. The worst is that women with such a diagnosis face a number of challenges concerning getting various services or the information they really need. This includes various socioeconomic and even structural barriers, among which we can name cultural inequities, poverty and even sexual violence. The snapshots of the epidemic are extremely scary. For example, today, more than 1.1 million people who are living with the diagnosis HIV in the USA encompass at least 280,000 women, which stand for 24 percent of the population. However, the worst is that AIDS, which is an advanced form of HIV, has developed 8 thousand new diagnoses (CDC, 2011, p. 13). People are afraid of becoming infected by HIV or AIDS. Furthermore, the survey shows that at least 22 percent of all women in USA are ‘very’ concerned about the fact. Black women are more warned by the fact than white women since there are only 13 percent who are concerned among the latter. Besides, the fact is that black women are even more concerned about their family members or relatives becoming diagnosed by HIV. There are 70 percent of black women who are worried as compared to 26 percent of white females (KFF). From all of the evidence provided, we can see that the problem is very serious, and it is wise and necessary to solve it on the governmental level.
It is very important to take into account similar policies created to fight with the problem. Formulation stage requires the consideration of existing laws around the world. One law, which should be analyzed, is the Global Commission on HIV and the Law. It was originally formed to interrogate the relationships between human rights, legal responses and HIV. It is the law which was officially launched in 2010 by the United Nations Development Program. This is the law which tries to provide the equal conditions for all women, especially for those who are infected with HIV or AIDS, and it also prohibits gender discrimination. It is the law which does everything to make the words about the fight with violation of women rights became the reality. In fact, the law fights with nine main violations of human rights. First, all women with such a diagnosis are forced to abort pregnancies since the doctors are against the help in delivery of their babies. These women have no right to adopt children or to care about them. What is more, they are made to sign the document promising never to have children, and they are not actually allowed to get married. Another violation goes about the fact that doctors might not operate these people. The last, and maybe the cruelest, is that women should be sterilized and show the document of their sterilization before they are taken on an official job (UNAIDS, 2009, pp. 3-8).
The legislative stage goes about the introduction of the bill into Congress for the debates. All of the previous information is added to the bill. As a matter of fact, this is the process when the bill might be a bit changed since sub-committee is allowed to make various amendments. Everything depends on the chairpersons as they are the ones who are responsible for the bill either to receive the hearing or be sent to be changed. Later on, the bill should be put on the calendar to be voted by the committee. The main thing is that the planned new law ought to be passed by a simple majority. Additionally, only after that it can move to Senate. Again, the bill about the right of women with HIV/AIDS will have to be debated and voted on. Here, the Senate will look on the law and information provided in the formulation part to understand the importance of the topic, and the specific idea, and only after that will vote on the bill. The latter will again require the single majority to vote it for passing it. The last stage in the legislative process encompasses the conference committee which consists of both House and Senate members. This committee will have to compare the versions of the bill of Senate and House and see the differences; only after that the final bill will appear as a result of two versions. It will have to wait for approval. Afterward, the bill will go to the President for signing or even vetoing. President has 10 days for this process.
The last stage in the process of topic becoming a policy is called implementation one. This stage is the most important in the process of idea becoming a policy. It begins as the process only when the government turned the legislation into law. In fact, it is the law which is turned into the practice. It helps to move the idea or topic to reality. It is already the stage when everything is provided to government agencies to carry out a new policy, or to give new responsibilities to the existing agencies on how to carry those out. This is the stage which will show the changes, and it can help to measure how much of planned was implemented into reality. That is why the first stage should provide clear objectives and structure to implementation process. However, the most important is the support for the interested group which proposed the topic. They will actually help to organize skillful implementing official together with good coordination of the process and communication between the branches of power. The problem, which often arises in the process of implementation, is the fact that policies usually change in the indicated. It is hard to adopt everybody to one law as it requires administrative directives and the establishment of various administrative units and methods to put policy into positive effect (Gunn, 1978, pp.172-176).
To conclude, it is important to mention that the survey showed that people are very concerned about becoming infected by HIV or AIDS from the women who have to live with such a diagnosis being suppressed. It will require a lot of efforts to persuade to live and work according to the new policy. The people will need to receive more information; women suffering from HIV will finally have a proper attitude, healthcare, and human rights. The only attitude they receive now is the violation on their human rights. The experience of the policies, which were implemented around the world concerning this topic, proves that if people want to end AIDS, they are required to end the oppression of women with such a diagnosis. The turning of the significant topic concerning women and HIV/AIDS into the policy will help to solve the problem not only in the books and articles, but on all levels. This process requires three stages. The first, which is called formulation stage, gathers the information and experience around the world regarding the topic. The second, legislative, brings some changes introduced by House of Representatives and Senate and makes a law from a topic. The last one, implementation stage, makes the reality from the concept and requires practical knowledge together with actions to make the policy work and have some results.