In the summer of 1981 in New York and California, a group of doctors reported to the Centre for Disease Control that a rare infectious and cancerous disease was afflicting the homosexual community. The disease was found to be a viral infection called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). From then on the fight against the disease has continued, with billions of dollars being spent on finding the cause and cure for the strange disease. The first group of patients to be stricken was the male homosexuals; however, there has been a significant change in the demographic of those affected by HIV/AIDS.
As a matter of fact, HIV/AIDS arose in the United States among gay men, a stigmatized group; it remains more ostracized than other diseases. Fearing rejection, people with AIDS often isolate themselves (Auerbach and Coates, 2000). This is an isolated, stigmatized group of people who have been largely neglected by their churches, by their communities, many have not told their families about this diagnosis of HIV.
As a result of stigmatization and fear to disclose HIV status among the infected population to other people and even their physician, investigators faces a big challenge in HIV clinical trial in terms recruitment and retention. Many do not want to get associated with anything that is associated with HIV and so the physician and/or investigators find it difficult recruiting this population to clinical trials as compared to other chronic disease like diabetic mellitus and cancer clinic trial. Reaffirming this position, the research by Gifford et al. (1992), indicated that the HIV patients mostly generate rejection as opposed to the cancer counterparts who generate empathy with the diagnoses. Therefore, the HIV patients to enroll in a trial means coming to the HIV clinic which many are not psychologically prepared for.
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