W1 Activity: Stigmas of Illness (Cancer, HIV, & Poverty)

Health and Illness may coexist within society similarly just as disease and illness may as well. In my opinion the term Health examines an individual’s condition whether it be mental or physical. When I consider the idea of health care I think of the notion of being “as healthy as an ox”, or free from sickness. In contrast, Illness refers to the infection that affects your body and may cause mental or physical distress. Illness may become a protagonist and cause emotional stress to the infected individual.

I believe the criteria for my thought patterns have resulted from my interests in public health and the health care industry. Growing up I observed many individuals within my family neglect their personal health. Whether it be physical, mental, or dental they never went for checks or if they were diagnosed a condition they never followed the restriction guidelines. I made a personal vow to never neglect my health to that magnitude and I have been a supporter of a healthy lifestyle since then. I currently have two specialties in Health promotion and Bioethics, Humanities, & Societies. While at MSU I have taken many courses that have assisted in my exploration of issues in health care.

From the list of “Illness” we created during this week’s lecture I have selected Cancer, HIV, and Poverty. The question was opened for discussion of whether these three terms were considered an illness and I would say two of the three are an illness. Those two are Cancer and HIV because these diseases have visible physical and mental affects that distress our bodies and health. In contrast, the public stigma placed upon the notion of “Poverty” can create an appearance of illness but is not considered an illness in my opinion. The issue with poverty is the negative connotation that is placed upon poverty and the need for a better environmental term to replace this term.

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