Thedifferences between “at risk” and “vulnerable” groups forpoor health
Apopulation at risk is a population with a familiar well-known riskfactor exposure that creates a threat to health.A good example of a population at risk of HIV infection are the women and girls due to various factors such as cultural practices,legal and religious practices and beliefs, adjustments in thepolitical or social environment, conflicts and poverty. However,Mechanicand Jennifer explain further that not every individual within a group“at risk” develops the health problem they at risk. Individualsat risk have higher probability of developing the health problemwhich they are at risk mainly due to higher exposure levels makingthem a “vulnerable group”. Taking the same example of HIVinfection, women and girls who are sex workers are more exposed toHIV virus making them vulnerable to the infection.
Whyvulnerable and groups at risk cannot advocate for themselves
Groupsat risk or vulnerable to HIV infection cannot advocate for themselvesdue to various reasons.These groups are in a way disadvantaged health wise, and in mostcases, they have limited resources and knowledge of their heightenedrisk to a health problem. From the existing research, when peopleadvocate for their own interests, their pleas are not taken seriouslycompared to when some other individual/groups of people campaign ontheir behalf. It will be highly beneficial to advocate for thesegroups since they will not only enjoy improved health, social andeconomic conditions, but will also get more awareness of the riskfactors associated with HIV infection. The vulnerable groups to HIVinfections are mainly women and girls who engage in sex work and thisgroup of people have limited knowledge and awareness on the variousbenefits they can advocate for themselves. Individuals or groups withadequate resources should advocate for the rights and betterconditions for these groups to ensure they live a better life withreduced risk and vulnerability to HIV infection.
WhatI would advocate for these groups
HIVulnerable groups and groups at risk face various unfavourablecultural and socio-economic conditions which can be advocated for.Many of the sex workers indulge in this kind of work due to poverty.Therefore, I would advocate for poverty eradication throughencouraging girl-child education especially in Sub-Saharan countriesto make the financially independent once they get employed. I wouldalso advocate for eradication of outdated cultural practices such asfemale genital mutilation which expose girls to higher risks ofcontracting HIV.
Mostimportantly, I will advocate for licensing of sex workers. When sexworkers are licensed, they will feel free to attend forums intendedto create awareness on such diseases such as HIV. This way, they willbe able to easily adopt the prevention measures, thus being able tocombat these diseases. Finally but not the least, I would campaignfor government incentives to ensure equal access to health care. Someof the people in these vulnerable groups fail to prevent themselvesfrom getting infected because they have limited access to health careservices. If sex workers are issued with subsidized health insurance,they can visit health centres more frequently to keep track of theirhealth and enhance their knowledge in keeping themselves safe fromHIV infection.
EcumenicalAdvocacy Alliance. Whatfactorsmake some populations more vulnerable to HIV and AIDS?2015. Retrieved on 23rdJune 2015 from:http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/l/hivaids/prevention/what-makes-some-populations-more-vulnerable-to-hiv/LeiyuShi, Gregory Stevens, D., LydieLebrun, A.,Pegah Faed & Jenna Tsai.Enhancing the Measurement of Health Disparities for Vulnerable Populations.Journal of Public Health Management & Practice 2008,(14)6:45 – 52.Mechanic,David, and Jennifer Tanner. "Vulnerable people, groups, andpopulations: societal view." HealthAffairs 26.5(2007): 1220-1230.