A report on the strategies that have been created to prevent my communicable and non-communicable diseases
For the purpose of this assignment I will be producing a report on the strategies that have been created to prevent my communicable and non-communicable disease, I will than be discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each strategy and I will be comparing the local strategies to the national strategies.
The National HIV strategy
The national strategy for sexual health and HIV was created by the Department of Health, in England it contains many objectives and targets which they aim to fulfil regarding the disease HIV. Taken from the department of health website the aims are:
The objectives of this strategy is to try to give priority in preventing HIV in gay men or communities, to develop national AIDS Trust with London health authorities to help prevent HIV in African communities. Also to create better outreach services for people with undiagnosed HIV especially the targeting groups, to make sure HIV treatment and several care services help in the prevention of HIV increasing, by providing efficient treatments for STI’s.
Another objective is trying to improve services for people who have HIV to deal with issue around safe sex so that they can prevent the disease from spreading “as a first step the Health Development Agency and Terrence Higgins Trust have produced a resource guide for professional on HIV and sexual health promotion for people who have HIV”. Finally to help reduce the use of drug misuse and this is especially targeted at young drug users and to help provide needle exchange schemes for injecting drug use misusers.
The strategy’s aims and objectives are looking at HIV and how it has affected everyone, and I feel that some of their aims are realistic and achievable however this is if the Department of Health is dedicated to fulfilling the aims that they have set out. The advantages of setting targets are they allow the department of health who are working on fulfilling this strategy to know what they are supposed to do, for example one of their aims is to raise awareness of the services available for people who have HIV, by having this aim the department of health will know that they can introduce things such as new services for HIV patients in different communities that people can reach and have quick access to new services. Also having targets means that you will have a specific goal that you want to achieve and will be determined to achieve, however the limitations of having targets are they may be difficult to accomplish them or they may not be achievable in the time scale you have decided to set yourself.
I feel that the strategy does miss some groups it fails to look at those who are already infected by HIV and are suffering from, I feel that all this strategy is about trying to prevent the disease from increasing, it is not looking at the well-being of HIV patients and how it could provide them with better services or treatments. I believe that the promotion ideas are realistic however it determines what group this strategy is aimed at and if society is willing to take part in this strategy being fulfilled by attending or using the services
I think that the strategy can be evaluated through a national survey, such as questionnaires which could be given out at sexual health clinics/GUM clinics and also could be given to people who use the services which this strategy is aiming to create, the good thing about using questionnaires are they are cheap, and easy to give to people and also they have a high response rate because they can be quickly and easily done/answered therefore questionnaires tend to be high in representativness. The advantages of evidence based evaluation are that the department of Health will know through methods of evaluation if the strategy was successful and accomplished their aims and objectives or if they were unsuccessful, it will also help the Department of health by suggesting ways that they can improve services.
As I whole I think this strategy might be successful because the aims I feel are realistic and achievable especially with the money that has already been invested in this strategy and also because the Department of health do not only aim to do this by themselves but they have introduced charities such as the Terrance Higgins trust to help them and because of their already reputation of willingness to help people with HIV it suggests to me that both Department of Health and The Terrance Higgins trust will be able to reach a lot of clients/patients who are more prone to getting infected with HIV or have already contacted HIV, however it might not be successful reasons why I feel it might not be successful is because people may be unaware of the strategy if it’s services or ideas are not promoted properly or effective enough to make people want to use the services, also I feel that this strategy is just aimed at preventing HIV from increasing it is failing to look at people who are already infected by the disease and what they could do to help them. Finally another reason why I feel this strategy might be unsuccessful is because they have not given us a specific target which they want to reach, so I’m not sure this strategy will reach everyone.
I got my HIV leaflet from Lewisham hospital, this leaflet was not easy to get because firstly I had gone to the local pharmacy and the boots pharmacy in Lewisham and both said that they did not have any HIV leaflets that they could give out. I then decided to go to Lewisham hospital and there I was able to find leaflets which I needed. I personally did not find it embarrassing picking the leaflets the main reason was because I didn’t have HIV so it wasn’t as if I was going to the clinic to get the leaflet because I needed help or I had a motive for using them, also another reason why I was not embarrassed was that the leaflets were made easily accessible they were hanging on the walls in the clinic and people could just take them at random so it wasn’t as if I was asking someone to give them to me.
However if I were a person who had HIV I think I would be embarrassed in picking a leaflet because of the stigma and stereotype that has been so highly attached to the disease of HIV and to people who have HIV, I would be embarrassed and would feel that people are watching me as I was taking the leaflets, I think that, that alone would put me off collecting a leaflet or even attending a sexual health clinic to get help or advice.
I actually like the leaflet that I was able to find it was the first leaflet I was attracted to, its message is basically about all you need to know on HIV. The leaflet talks about what HIV is, how you can and cannot get it, what you should do if you have HIV, how you can protect yourself from getting it and finally it talks about what to do if you want an HIV test and how you should approach a sexual health clinic and what questions you should ask them.
Then they provide you with a help line which you can use. One thing that I liked about this leaflet especially is the way it explained that a person could get HIV it made it clear that people cannot get HIV from things such as kissing, hugging, touching etc which I feel is a good thing because some people tend to think that if a person has HIV they should avoid all type of contact with that person which can then lead sometimes to discrimination and making a person feel excluded/marginalised in society. The colours of this leaflet are plain they are gray and white on the outside and purple and grey in the inside however this leaflet is still very attractive the reason for this is that the picture in the front of the leaflet is of a face and I think this is what firstly attracted me to this leaflet because it made me want to stop and look at what was inside the leaflet, inside the leaflet there are the other features of the face inside that are highlighted in the colour purple which also makes the leaflet attractive.
The message I feel is clear and simple they made this leaflet hold a lot of information without making it seem as if you were reading an essay which is also something that I like about it. The message of the leaflet was made effective through the use of pictures and the information inside the leaflet I feel it would mostly attract teenagers or young adults because it is something that is quick and easy to read, it is light in weight and can be easily hidden if people do not want others to see it and finally it is something which you can read and understand.
I think this strategy of creating leaflets is effective it enables people to know about the disease how they can get it, what they can do to prevent themselves from getting HIV it also provides information and help lines of how they can get help from different sexual health clinics and this strategy’s main purpose is to prevent the disease from spreading which I feel that if all leaflets are created as the one which I have discussed this strategy will be effective.
Lewisham does not have sexual health clinic or a GUM clinic however, there are these types of clinics in London the closest one to Lewisham is the sexual health clinic in London Bridge at Guy’s hospital, the type of support they offer is they provide advice for those who may have any concerns or worries over their sexual health, they also provide free HIV testing or screenings for sexually transmitted diseases and they offer counselling for anyone who has been affected by a sexual transmitted disease. The barriers that affect people heaving access to this service could be that some people who have sexually transmitted diseases may be ashamed of going to the clinics because of the stigma that is attached to having sexually transmitted diseases they may feel that people are watching them and stereotyping them just because of their situation making people may feel ashamed of using services such as these.
Another barrier to this service is that for some people there are geographical barriers surrounding them travelling to go and use this service as I have said above this is the closest sexual health to Lewisham in London for some people travelling may be a problem for them as they may no have enough income to pay for public transport or for petrol in their cars also it may just be too far for people to travel and put people of using the service.