Prevention of poverty.

By June 3, 2012
OfflinePhoto of Marek Wosinski

Referring to the content of the Prevention Institute website and to the information about prevention of AIDS. please present your opinion on how can we prevent poverty.


About the author

Marek Wosinski

Founder of UCP-SARnetArizona State University

Marek Wosinski received his degrees in psychology (with specialization in clinical and educational psychology) from the University of Warsaw (Poland). He held academic and administrative positions…


Prevention of Poverty Unlike AIDS we can't just give everyone a pill to help them cope with poverty, but education is something that really can help prevent poverty. Education from youth through at least high school will help guarantee a job that will pay enough to live. We also need to get the word out and just that there is poverty but we need to give specifics and examples.. We need to tell people exactly what to do to help. We also need to give people options, not just check or cash, but options of volunteering to help organize food or help take the food to people. Once you have done enough to support the poor you need to then help get them educated so that they can get jobs and will be able to be self-sustaining. I also think that incentives should be given to organizations that will help employee these people. An example is local goodwill stores have job centers that help people find jobs and will also employee people. If we help make these types of things part of our society I think we can really prevent poverty or at least take a big chunk of it out. Unfortunately there is never a simple answer and most people won't lift a finger to help unless put under a spotlight. This is why community psychology needs to play a part in bringing people together and uniting under leadership to help prevent future poverty.

Treating poverty like AIDS has its similarities however needs different approaches. Unlike AIDs, we cannot give a medical diagnosis to poverty such as prescribing numerous pills. Instead we can take an analysis and convert it into statistics to show us what the current situation is. Also there is no safety net like condom usage for preventing poverty. We test our blood work to see if we are clean or not and with poverty, it is similar by conducting tests or surveys on the population.

            With the similarities, drug usage tends to drag people below the poverty level from addiction. With AIDS, people sometimes have unprotected sex and other risky behaviors for money to support their habits. In China, a majority of Chinese particularly below the poverty line sells their blood to make an extra income; for some this is probably their only income. However this poses a high risk of blood contamination and transmission of the HIV virus. Another similarity is the transmission from mother to child. If the mother is living in poverty, then most definitely the child will live in poverty also. Same goes with AIDS, if the mother has it, then the child will definitely have it.

            The most effective prevention of both AIDS and poverty is education. In AIDS prevention, there is proper condom usage for sexually active persons and teachings of never making decisions while high or intoxicated. There is the rule of never reusing a needle and proper disposal of it. There are support groups for HIV positive people that can empower them to continue living. In poverty, there may be community groups that can empower the people to continue making their life worthwhile and making efforts to alleviate their low economic status. The education of poverty can show foreigners how living in these absolute horrifying conditions can be and asks for their time and money. Also with education, this may be the only road out of poverty for children, assuming they make it through. They can go to college, get their degree, make money, then hopefully come back to help their people. With the help, and sometimes pressuring, from the government, funding can go to these people; both poverty stricken and AIDS research, to find a solution to eradicate both.


1)      Avert. HIV & AIDS in China. Web.

2)      Youtube. Child Orphaned by AIDS in China. Web. 2007

3)      Youtube. Sex and AIDS. Web. 2008

The lecture by Dr. Marek, as well as the links and videos, provide a lot of facts and insight into different methods for prevention.  As we learn about the ways countries around the world are working to prevent HIV, we can infer logical solutions to the prevention of poverty.  According to all videos and links, education is the most important way to maintain prevention.  Many children become orphans as a result of parents living with AIDs.  The poverty in those countries make the problem even worse because resources are unavailable to those living in poverty.  Encouraging orphaned children to go to school and get an education has had some success.  Students are able to learn about the diseases that have claimed the lives of family members, as well as learn new skills to become productive members in society in the future. 

A huge issue that comes hand in hand is poverty and HIV/AIDS. A major issue to why we have poverty in Africa, China, US, and other various places in the world but mainly Africa is that we have individuals who are parents and are infected with HIV positive. These parents have children. The parents die just like the little girl in the video who is an orphan now. Children who are infected with HIV positive and also orphans are in poverty due to their parents dying from HIV/AIDs. After watching the videos and also reveiwing the Institute of Prevention I truly believe that this is a domino effect. 

Reason why I am saying this is that parents are infected, have children, children are infected, parents die, and soon child is left with no education of HIV/AIDS or how to receive treatment, this then creates a kind of poverty. The video explained that 10 percent of mothers are infected and 5 percent of that 10 are coming to get treatment.. Why is that only 5 percent are seeking treatment? If they did it would cut down poverty and HIV/AIDS. The prevent poverty I believe that everyone needs to utilize numerous tools. One tool is education. Educate your children and yourselves of HIV/AIDS. Another tool is condoms. Condoms are accessible, especially in the video with Russia. Men would rather not wear condoms. Which is why the women in Russia is terrified to get tested because she knows her chances. 

OfflinePhoto of Lindy Blake Lindy Blake said 4 years ago

The information given on the various ways to help in the prevention of HIV and AIDS can be useful in determining the best approach in preventing poverty. I think one very important thing to understand that I learned from the videos and articles on AIDS prevention, is that Prevention is more than just a message. It is not simply making people aware of the problem, because that does not always work. For example, people continue to smoke cigarettes even when there is a skull and crossbones on the label and a guarantee that they will get cancer. Drug users continue to stick needles in their arm even after they have been warned about the potential harm and transfer of diseases. People continue to drive cars even though they know of the damage it is doing to the environment. Examples like this are infinite, and I think they illustrate the need for more severe measures than simply passing out flyers or making television commercials. These are important things to do too, but are not enough. Laws need to be passed. Governments and individuals need to be held accountable for things. Policies need to be implemented and enforced. Programs need to be built. A good example of this is the needle exchange program in China. Officials were hesitant to do this because at first they thought it would encourage the use of drugs. However, they finally realized that stopping the spread of diseases, especially AIDS was more important than simply trying to discourage drug use. People need to understand that there is not always a perfect solution, and that we have to decide together what issues are most important to tackle first. Poverty is one of those issues. 

When it comes to preventing poverty, I believe that it is an impossible feat. There are so many factors that contribute to the issue of poverty that prevention isn't a realistic goal. However, there are ways to help the problem, but no one action will eradicate it.  We could educate as many people as possible to prevent AIDS and other diseases, but it is unrealistic to think that millions of people could be educated enough to prevent poverty. If we look at poverty as a scale we can see how, unless everyone was made to make the same income as each other, there will always be the rich on one end and the poor on the other. For this to occur of equality between the wealth of a community, we would have to adopt some sort of a socialist way of life. This will not happen due to the fact that rich people like being rich and those voters will never vote for this type of lifestyle. 

With AIDS, the recurring theme is education.  The Chinese Education Ministry recommends that sexual morality and self-discipline should be taught to prevent HIV/AIDS.  In 2004, the local government was instructed to "integrate HIV/AIDS into the routine government agenda as an important item… and urgently and effectively respond to HIV/AIDS".  They recommend a mass education campaign to teach prevention and to eliminate the stigma associated with it.  However, local authorities are not actually implementing the policies put in place.  To promote education there needs to be qualification of more teachers to teach HIV prevention in minority languages and the creation of more materials.  The misconceptions about how AIDS is transmitted must be eliminated.  Furthermore, the blood banks must implement safer and more sanitary collection policies. 

In Russia, there must be the creation of more needle exchanges to eliminate HIV/AIDS transmission through drug use and sharing needles.  The overwhelming majority of new HIV infections is from intravenous drug use so more needle exchanges to accommodate the 2 million IV drug users is imperative.  Also, drug substitution therapy should be implemented.  Police must stop targeting those who do use the needle exchanges so more people would utilize them instead of avoiding them out of fear of contact with law enforcement. 

Poverty can be prevented through education as well but in a different sense.  To combat poverty, homeless and unemployed people should be offered job training and scholarships to complete school.  They should receive training on how to apply for jobs and what to say in interviews as well as be provided with clothes to wear for the application and interview process.  Job placement agencies would help these people find jobs.  A more effective food distribution system would also be beneficial so those in need get the help they need.   As with HIV/AIDS, poverty can be helped through media campaigns aimed at eliminating the stigma associated so those who need help are not deterred from asking for it. 

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Marek Wosinski
June 3, 2012

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