I was raised to think of health as a positive look at both how our body functions and how we mentally think of ourselves. In my family we tend to ask if someone is feeling healthy, this is to portray a positive aspect meaning they do not have any physical or mental disease at the time. We would also judge health based off physical appearance such as looking tired, scars present, or broken bones. We would define illness as any flaw in a person’s health, such as a disease. My family would categorize an illness both based on the actually disease (bacteria or virus) effecting them or the symptoms that are present. These definitions likely came from the environment I grew up in. This includes, but is not limited to, people from school, family, church members, and the media. All of these things together formed our definitions we use to classify health and illness, which is in part why I believe the two may have come to be so similar and interchanged at times.
HIV in my opinion should be considered an illness. I think many people in western society would agree with this based on the media’s portrayal of the disease. It has a very negative connotation and is seen as a scary thing for those whom have it and those who do not want to contract HIV. The fact that there is no known cure for HIV adds a frightening aspect for many people.
I do not consider items on the list such as old age and poverty to be an illness, but they leave our body more susceptible to illness. These two list items do not cause a person to feel worse physically but many times lead to a disease that could cause the body harm. For example an 80 year old man may feel just as healthy as a 60 year old; age is not the deciding factor.
Items such as migraines, fatigue, insomnia could also be grouped together and are what I would consider symptoms from a disease or some other underlying problem with the body. These items can many times be treated with pharmaceuticals to fix the “illness” of the body. However, I do understand that in a poverty stricken area these may not be available and thus could be seen as the only illness a person has because it can not be treated.