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Executive Summary
Teasanity is an online store on Ebay that sells affordable teas and tea blends at reasonable prices for the average U.S. consumer. Tea has increasingly become a popular consumer product within the country due to its health benefits and the growing desire of the American public to shift to healthier options when it comes to the type of drinks that they consume. Unfortunately, as seen in the case of brands such as Twinnings, tea is inordinately expensive within the United States with a small box with 20 tea bags typically sold within the $5 range.

While this may seem to be relatively affordable, most tea drinkers consumer two to three cups of tea a day with a single box barely lasting a week. Within a month, the cost can rise to $30, and this does not take into consideration the cost of delivery in some areas which can add a dollar or more to the price. Aside from this, many teas sold locally are infused with flavors that take away from the natural flavor of the tea, as seen in the case of the English Breakfast and Christmas Tea blends of Twinnings. These added flavors can diminish the natural anti-oxidant properties of tea and could even contribute towards the development of a wide assortment of health-related issues. American consumers want a natural, unadulterated tea that can be bought at an affordable price and, as such, this is where Teasanity enters into the picture.

By purchasing tea directly from the source (ex: bulk suppliers on Alibaba), Teasanity would be able to provide tea that is natural, has not been infused with chemicals and can be bought in large batches at relatively affordable prices. This addresses many of the problems that were brought up earlier and showed just how effective this potential business concept could be if implemented in an appropriate manner.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Mission Statement
Teasanity seeks to provide affordable and unadulterated tea that has not been overly processed or infused with chemicals to consumers within the United States. Through such actions, the company will contribute to the growing desire of the American public to have access to safe and healthy drinks that will enhance their physical well-being rather than damage it through the ingestion of harmful chemicals in the form of popular artificial sodas and fruit juices.

Company Information
Teasanity is a recently established company that was created during the latter half of 2016. Its founder is (INSERT NAME HERE) who loves tea and sought to introduce its wonders to the rest of the consumer market within the United States through an affordable product lineup that is convenient to access. Teasanity only has one employee, the founder, who works out of her parent’s home in (PLACE ADDRESS OF PARENTS HERE). Since the company is a startup, its current operational structure is ideally suited for the amount of business that it does on a daily basis. As the company garners more positive reviews in the future and, as a result, more customers, it is likely that additional employees will be hired and a larger premises rented.

Growth Highlights
Since starting on the first week of November, Teasanity has developed a relatively robust growth rate with two to four sales being made every week. Positive reviews for the company’s services on Ebay are currently at three reviews with a high likelihood of increased growth in the upcoming holiday season as more people buy presents online for their friends and loved ones. Holiday gift packaging has already been purchased in advance and will be offered as a free service to buyers within the first week of the December sales period.

Teasanity primarily sells teas sold per kilo/half a kilo to its consumers (small sample sizes can be purchased on a case to case basis). These are unadulterated teas that have not been overly processed with no additional chemicals being added to them. They are bought in bulk directly from the producers and then sold in individually sealed packages based on the desired weight that the customer buys them in.

The range of teas that are currently available are Japanese Green Tea (leaves), Japanese Green Tea with Toasted Rice, Japanese Macha Powder (ground green tea leaves), and Black Tea. All teas are guaranteed to have been processed within the last six months which ensures their freshness when consumed.

Financial Information
The business is currently being financed via a small loan from the parents of the founder ($5,000) which is currently being used to purchase the tea and packaging directly from producers in Asia via Aliexpress.com and Alibaba.com. Presently, the business is performing as expected since it has just started out; however, with the upcoming holiday purchasing season, it is likely that there will be a considerable increase in the amount of people that will purchase the company’s products via Ebay. Aside from the small business loan from the founder’s parents, there are currently no other investors in the small enterprise and it is likely that there will be no investors interested in it within the immediate future since it has yet to get through its first year of operation.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Summary of Future Plans
Teasanity will continue to sell its products on Ebay within the foreseeable future but will also attempt to generate more external business leads through the use of social media advertising. This involves posting links to the business on the owner’s Facebook page so that her friends and family can see the business and hopefully purchase products through it or share the post with their own friends. Aside from this, a dedicated Facebook page will be created for the company where daily posts will feature the various products that the company is selling and will have articles detailing the health benefits associated with drinking tea.

Situation Analysis
Market Summary (Target Market – Customers)
The primary target market of the business are consumers that enjoy drinking tea but want a more affordable and natural option than what is currently available in today’s markets. These are internet savvy customers who purchase many of the items they use in their everyday life through the internet and are well aware of how products are shipped and arrive at their address. Aside from this, these consumers are also interested in improving their health and, as such, have turned towards drinking tea since it has next to no calories in it and is an excellent source of anti-oxidants.

Market Demographics
Consumers within this demographic consist of low to mid-tier consumers (i.e. working to middle class) who have access to the internet and a credit card (Hildebrandt, 2012). These are consumers who, on average, purchase many items online yet do so in small amounts due to the inherent cost associated with buying items in bulk.

Market Needs
The primary needs within this market are for items to be delivered in a quick and efficient manner. Customers want to be assured that they receive their items and that they will know when it will arrive. This is why all packages sent by Teasanity through USPS will have a tracking number that will be forwarded to the customers once the packages have been sent out. Through this method, the worries of the customers are resolved, and their primary needs are met.

Market Trends
The primary trend within this market has been to cater to customers that are after teas that have good flavors yet are not overly immersed in artificial flavorings. This is why Teasanity is well-positioned within this market since the products the company selling conform to present-day trends in tea sales within the United States.

Market Growth
Presently, the growth of the tea industry within the United States has been lukewarm, to say the least. This is because coffee tends to dominate the hot beverage consumer sector with tea trailing behind it by a significant margin. One of the reasons behind this is the inherent cost of some tea blends as well as the general unfamiliarity that many local consumers have with drinking tea on a daily basis.

SWOT Analysis
The primary strength of Teasanity lies in its ability to provide customers with better value for the money that they spend. Since the company is buying the tea in bulk directly from the supplier and it does not undergo any additional processing, labeling, packaging or advertisement, and the cost is far lower. For example, Teasanity sells its green tea leaves at $10 per 1-kilo bag; considering the fact, that brands like Twinnings sell an equivalent product for $5 per 20 tea bag box, consumers gain far more value purchasing through Teasanity than Twinnings. Not only that, the green tea leaves from Teasanity are far less processed than their Twinnings counterpart making them far stronger requiring fewer leaves to bring out the flavor of the product. By having a cheaper and better tasting product, Teasanity positions itself as being a superior supplier compared to other competitors on Ebay.

The primary weakness of Teasanity is the of lack of brand awareness it has compared to other online sellers on Ebay. While Teasanity is selling products that taste more natural and have better value, brands such as Twinnings are more well known and, as such, consumers are likely to choose a brand that they know rather than trust a relatively new brand.

The growing number of tea drinkers within the U.S. represents a great opportunity for Teasanity given the potential for penetrating a consumer market that is expanding (Roberts Jr.,2012). To accomplish its goals of carving out a large percentage of this customer base, Teasanity would need to position itself as “the premier supplier” of natural and affordable tea on Ebay. Such a strategy can be accomplished through a variety of online promotions geared towards increasing awareness of the company’s online Ebay store and the Teasanity brand.

The main threat to the Teasanity brand is the relatively few barriers to entry into the niche market that the company is operating in (Ericksen, 2016). Its operational framework and supply chain is easily replicated by anyone with a computer and sufficient knowledge about online suppliers and, as such, Teasanity would need to continuously be on the lookout for potential rivals.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

Marketing Strategy
Marketing Objectives: The primary goal of the company is to become the leading destination for tea buyers on Ebay to go to when it comes to purchasing teas.

Financial Objectives: The first financial goal of this enterprise is to raise enough money to pay off the small business loan from the founder’s parents to set up the business. Once that is accomplished, a dedicated website will be made where Teasanity can conduct sales and product presentations to avoid over-reliance on Ebay’s seller system.

Target Markets: Potential consumers will be targetted through the use of word-of-mouth advertising as well as asking friends and family members to share the posts of Teasanity’s Facebook page to generate greater brand awareness. Aside from this, the company will also use Facebook ads to increase the number of people that view the company’s Facebook page.

Positioning: The company will leverage its cheaper yet better tasting and quantitatively larger products to appeal to consumers that are looking for great deals on teas online.

Strategies: The primary method of marketing that Teasanity will utilize is Facebook advertising through shared posts and Facebook ads. Banner ads from Google Ads may be considered in the future once a website has been created for the company.

Breakeven Analysis
Through an analysis of the bulk shipping prices on Alibaba, the following teas can be sold on Ebay at the cost of $10 with a profit for $3 per product: Japanese Green Tea (leaves), Japanese Green Tea with Toasted Rice, Japanese Macha Powder (ground green tea leaves), and Black Tea. The delivery charge of each product is $5 (based on current USPS rates for the product) along with 10% of the price added due to Ebay’s fees. The result is that each kilo of tea would cost a buyer $16 to purchase which is still within an acceptable range when compared to the price range of Twinnings for their tea boxes. Since the company is currently operating out of the home of the founder’s parents with the owner being the only employee, costs are almost non-existent, aside from the price of the product ($7 per bag) and the delivery cost. This enables the owner to sell products at $7 if needed if they required to get rid of excess inventory and simply break-even. Overall, due to the current size of the business and the fact that it is still a startup, the breakeven point is still relatively non-existent outside of the parameters that were already mentioned.

Sales Forecast
Within the past two weeks ever since the business was established, sales have remaining steady at three to four per week. It is anticipated that with the upcoming Christmas season, this should increase to six to eight sales per week.
Expense Forecast: Based on the earlier data involving the company working out of the home of the founder’s parents, costs are isolated to the price of shipping and to replenish the product.

The primary elements that will be monitored in the business are the reviews that appear reviewing the products sold by the company. Reviews can be considered as the lifeblood of any business that operates on Ebay since they are often the basis behind why a customer would choose to purchase a product from an online seller. This is one of the reasons why the price of the tea is currently set at $10 per kilo since this is meant to initially increase the number of reviews until such a point that the company becomes more well-established on Ebay.

Contingency Planning
Since business is primarily internet based and the owner is not renting any equipment or leasing any property to operate the company, then the necessary contingency plan focuses on ensuring that all orders are met. This can take the form of asking the owner’s parents to send packages in the proprietor’s name just in case they are unable to do so due to one reason or another.

Overall, when looking at the type of product that is being sold, the method in which it is marketed and the expenses associated with daily operations, it can be stated that the plan is feasible and can lead to a moderate level of profitability in the short-term. Long-term profits for the company will be contingent on its capacity to generate positive reviews to increase the amount of trust that new buyers would have to the company’s products. Aside from this, the use of social media as a means of advertising and promoting the company’s products is a good move since it is relatively low-cost and can reach a large number of people. Not only that, by looking at the number of “likes” on the company’ Facebook page, the owner can determine whether the current market penetration efforts are effective.

Reference List

Ericksen, A. B. (2016). Water, Tea and Gen Z. Convenience Store Decisions27(8), 42.

Hildebrandt, S. (2012). Tea competes for share. Beverage Industry103(6), 20.

Roberts Jr., W. A. (2012). Beverages: Form Follows Function. Prepared Foods181(8), 25.


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Susan Glaspell’s play “Trifles” occurs in the downstairs rooms of a farmhouse belonging to a recent murder victim and his wife, who may or may not have killed him.  At first glance most of the dialogue and even the stage directions indicate that all of the characters follow quite strictly the expectations set out for their genders, but as the play progresses it becomes clear that even in this traditional setting the female characters are not as simple and meek as the men believe them to be.   [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

The way the characters speak to each other indicates that they, in particular the male characters, have a very patriarchal view of gender roles.  When Mrs Peters points out that Mrs Wright was worried about the state of her fruit preserves, Hale responds that “women are used to worrying over trifles,” showing his disdain for what he considers inferior work and intellect associated with women.  When it becomes evident that the house is in a state of comparative disrepair, the County Attorney jovially asks, “Not much of a housekeeper, would you say, ladies?” looking for affirmation from the women themselves that Mrs Wright’s primary role in life should have been that of an exemplary homemaker.  When the women stand up for her, his response is to make fun of them for being “loyal to your sex.”  These interactions between the characters portray a very traditional and oppressive view of women’s roles in the home and in life characteristic of those encouraged by the patriarchy. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

The women themselves willingly play the roles assigned to them by this society.  As the play begins the County Attorney tells the women to “Come up to the fire, ladies,” and Mrs. Peters does so without question despite the fact that she actively points out that she is not cold.  Even from jail, Mrs Wright’s acquiescence to the men’s assumptions comes through in her request to bring an apron to jail.  Mrs Peters points out that it’s a “Funny thing to want, for there isn’t much to get you dirty in jail,” and goes on to assume that she wanted the apron to “make her feel more natural.”  That a woman would herself decide that she needed an apron to feel natural is a product of having been born and raised into a society that strictly defines their roles for them uniformly as housekeepers rather than as autonomous individuals.

Despite these portrayals of women as people whose only roles in life are to keep house and provide for men’s comfort, the female characters show a surprising amount of autonomy and personal strength.  When they find Mrs Wright’s dead bird with its neck wrung hidden in a box, they point out that her husband “wouldn’t like the bird – a thing that sang.  She used to sing.  He killed that, too.”  This series of observations indicates that the women understand the level of oppression that Mr Wright exerted over his wife.  Mrs Hale points out to her friend, “I know how things can be – for women…We all go through the same things – it’s all just a different kind of the same.”  Even if the characters do not have a feminist framework in which to interpret the oppression of women, they understand it on a basic level.  This understanding is likely what causes them to band together in hiding the dead bird from the Sheriff and the County Attorney when they come back downstairs.  They use the men’s misogyny and assumptions of women’s inferiority against them, knowing that the men assume that they are not capable of interpreting Mrs Wright’s actions by themselves.  Mrs Peters nervously tells her friend that the men would just laugh at them for “Getting all stirred up over a little thing like a – dead canary.”  They both know full well that the dead canary is entirely relevant to the crime at hand and could be used to indicate Mrs Wright’s motive in committing murder, but choose to keep the information to themselves and use the men’s assumptions about them to their advantage.

In today’s age, in which feminism has brought to the forefront of many people’s thoughts the importance of abolishing unhealthy and oppressive vestiges of the patriarchy and standing up for equality and women’s rights, the gender roles portrayed by the characters appear almost stereotyped.  In the time in which the play is set they were more or less normal.  The female character’s use of the men’s assumptions about their sex to hide evidence and support Mrs Wright, whom they understand to have been oppressed by her husband much as they are all oppressed by the suffocating gender roles they are forced into, can be interpreted from a feminist perspective as a blow against the then all-powerful patriarchy. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]


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Virgin Founder Richard Branson and CEO David Cush say “a superior customer experience is the key ingredient to success in a competitive global economy, regardless of what business you’re in” (Gallo, 2013). The same concept applies to the hospitality industry: success is predicated on customer service and meeting leisurely needs instead of necessities.

Hospitality Businesses Thrive on Service
Hospitality businesses are dependent upon great workers and economic success. The majority of the people who enjoy hospitality services are tourists, wealthy vacationers, and others with disposable income. They come to hospitality-based areas for exquisite service, unique offerings, and a level of service that exceeds other companies. This expectation for a high level of service is critical to success for any hospitality company. After all, these patrons have significant brand loyalty and having excessively great service keeps them happy and coming back. Of course, this industry is only as strong as the economy: when there is less money to spend, there is less to spread around.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Variety of Ventures and Themes
Another defining element of the hospitality business is the variety of companies that exist within the industry. For example, airlines, hotels, restaurants, and casinos are just a few examples of the various enterprises that can be undertaken in the name of hospitality. These businesses attract tourists and offer them something unique and of high quality that they cannot get anywhere else. At the same time, the hospitality industry is unique because it offers various themes to go along with the businesses, providing niches to please customers of all kinds. A restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean food is thematically different than Italian restaurants, but still allows customers to compare experiences at those locations. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Overall, the defining aspect of hospitality is the dedication to greatness.  These are companies built on luxury and service that will ensure brand loyalty which is the pinnacle of success in terms of the industry.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]


Gallo, C. (2013, May 9). Seven customer service lessons I learned in One day with Richard          Branson [Video]. Forbes.


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Film is of great importance to society as it is a portrayal of the current society which we live in. It is a get away from the harsh realities of the world into a new and different world. Fictional films, however, put a creative twist to the common themes we see in real life and also offer a different world to escape to. A movie that has lived up to the essence of fictional films and transports you to an alternate reality is Inception. I have seen the movie seven times since its release in 2010, having the last instance about a month ago. It is my favorite fictional film.

Inception is a fictional thriller film released in 2010 that was written, co-produced and directed by Christopher Nolan, who has written, produced and directed other critically acclaimed films such as Interstellar and The Prestige. Inception follows Dom Cobb, played by Academy Award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a professional thief that can steal information from the subconscious of people while asleep. He is given the opportunity to clear his criminal history and reunite him with his children by completing a simple task; implanting someone else’s idea in a target’s subconscious. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Cobb cannot accomplish this mission on his own and recruits partners; Arthur (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) as his fellow extractor, Ariadne (played by Ellen Page) a graduate architect whose duty is to build the dreamscape and Eames (played by Tom Hardy). Eames is great at impersonating others and using force to get the job done. This occurs within a dream, and Cobb can go deeper in the dreams. A dream within a dream, Cobb, and his partners go through turmoil to implant the idea while Cobb is battling the memory of his dead wife and the urge to stay in the dream with her. The film takes a drastic turn at the end when he is reunited with his children and spins a top which is an indicator of whether he is still dreaming or not. This scene leaves the audience in suspense.

I chose Inception as my favorite film due to some various reasons. Firstly, the cinematography and visual effects of the movie is excellent. The film even won the Academy Award for best visual effects. The film calls for your attention and looking away does one a great disservice. There is a specific scene in the film whereby the dreamscape was crumbling, and the city appeared upside-down. The execution of that specific scene left me in awe.

Secondly, the plot of the film is also exceptional. The fact that Christopher Nolan explored the theme of dreams and having a universe in a dream which can be manipulated by a person to obtain information is brilliant. It explores the idea that dreams seem very real when we are in them but soon we wake up and go about our regular lives. There is never a dull moment in the film as the plot is not predictable. It changes as soon as you think you know what will happen next. You therefore fully concentrate on watching the movie. There were also some interesting and relatable sub-plots such as the relationship between Cobb and his wife who had committed suicide and the relationship between Cobb and his children.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

I also enjoy the film due to the seamless acting is done by the cast. Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard and Michael Caine are all critically acclaimed actors and actresses who portrayed their roles with great prowess and were sure to bring the audience into their world.

I also uphold the fact that the film urges the audience to dive deep into the film and think critically. It requires one to be alert and willing to pay undivided attention to fully understand the plot. You forget your reality and come into Cobb’s reality.

Lastly, I am obsessed with the creativity of the entire film. Lucid dreaming is an unexplored concept in visual art. The film is original in that it is not an adaptation of a book or a television show, but it is its entity. From the soundtrack to the visual effects to the dialogue; everything about the film is original.
In my opinion, Inception is among the greatest works of art that have come out of the latest decade, and its legacy will live on for decades to come. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]


Nolan, C., Thomas, E., DiCaprio, L., Watanabe, K., Gordon-Levitt, J., Cotillard, M., Page, E., Warner Home Video (Firm). (2010). Inception Burbank, CA: Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.


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Patients should have real-time access to all information in their health records since they have the right to not only self-directed treatment options but should also know the cost of their procedure, its relevance to their treatment and its long-term implications for their health. By denying them access to their medical records, hospitals are causing patients to distrust hospitals and the various medical procedures that they have to endure. If there is a lack of trust between patients and treatment facilities, this can have an adverse impact on not only a person’s willingness to undergo a particular treatment process but can also affect their potential future patronage of the hospital’s services.

Understanding the Issue
Presently, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), patients are granted substantial protections against their medical information being shared by hospitals, doctors or other medical personnel that they have not approved of. If such protections exist to protect their information from unauthorized access, then it goes without saying that the owners of the information (i.e. the patients) should be the ones who, ultimately, should have the highest clearance to access it themselves. [“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

In fact, it does not make sense, from a business perspective, to withhold information from a client that is utilizing your services. Some hospitals (mostly for-profit institutions) are businesses whose purpose is to provide medical assistance, at a price. As such, since a patient is utilizing a paid for service, they should have the right to access information that pertains to it (Pear, 2016).

Common Arguments
One of the common arguments against the implementation of such a policy is the notion that since patients cannot understand what is written in their health records, they should not have access to it. Admittedly, it is true that many patients lack the necessary medical knowledge and experience to understand what is written in their records. As such, giving them access would, initially, not make sense given the lack of any perceived positive outcome from them reading what they do not understand. However, while this perspective was right 20 or 30 years ago, technological advancements like the internet have helped to simplify the process of understanding particular medical terminologies and procedures.

Patients today are more well-informed than their counterparts in the latter half of the 1990s and, as such, have developed the desire to understand their condition and know more about the different treatment options that are available to them. This is, in part, due to the increasing cost of treatment that patients are subjected to which makes their desire for more affordable treatment options an understandable concern (Pear, 2016). Hospital have begun to acknowledge this necessity resulting in new practices being implemented where doctors and nurses become more open when it comes to describing particular procedures, their risks and if potential alternatives could be implemented that would cost less but have the same outcome. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

In summary, this report has shown that patients should have real-time access to all information in their health records since they have the right to not only self-directed treatment options but should also know the cost of their procedure, its relevance to their treatment and its long-term implications for their health. Since they are paying for a service, they should have the right to know what their current condition is, what is being done to them and what their options are. By denying patient’s this fundamental right, this causes them to be suspicious of the doctor and the hospital which can have long-term negative implications when it comes to their adherence to the medical advice given to them that they should follow during post-treatment procedures. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

Reference List

Pear, R. (2016, January 17). New Guidelines Nudge Doctors on Giving Patients Access to  Medical Records. New York Times. p. 17.


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Feminism as a Unifying and Dividing Force

Feminism is a sociological theory that has only become popular in the last half-century.  It “interprets women’s personal troubles as social and political in origin” (Seidman, 2013), citing male dominance as a means of oppressing women and maintaining the current power structure.  This theory of social interaction posits that the differences in social power and recognition afforded to men and women are unequal as a result of political as well as social forces, rather than any intrinsic differences in nature.

Although different schools of feminism offer different explanations for how to move forward, all agree that in its current state our society places men at an unfair advantage.  It is objectively true that “in the United States, men occupy the highest positions of power in economic, political, military, educational, and cultural institutions” (Seidman, 2013).  This is a result of perceived differences between men and women’s cultural roles.  Women are conventionally relegated to caretaking roles, which by their nature do not confer the kind of political and social power as social roles traditionally assigned to men.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

Feminists across the spectrum agree that the perception of women as naturally inclined toward assuming caretaking roles is socially informed, rather than a result of intrinsic differences between men and women.  Where they differ is in how they define what it does mean to be a woman.  Seidman discusses three major schools of feminst thought: gynocentric feminism, difference feminism, and postmodern feminism.  These three schools all pose different ideas about what it means to be a woman in our society, although all of them adhere to the underlying sociological theory of culturally regulated male dominance and inequality.

Gynocentric feminism arose in the 1960s, and was primarily championed by middle-class white women.  Its intent was to form a unified front against the patriarchy by mounting an “appeal to women’s fundamental common identity and subordination” (Seidman, 2013).  It assumed shared life experiences as well as a shared state of political and social oppression.  Proponents of this early school of feminist thought pointed out that men had, prior to feminism, long maintained a monopoly of control over power, not just in the form of money and governmental offices, but also over the politics of gender identity.  “Since men have dominated sociology and the social sciences, their conceptual values – abstract ideas, generalization, objectivity, impersonality – have become dominant” (Seidman, 2013).  These ideas are what is used to define gender roles, placing women in a position where their gender identities have been defined and determined by men rather than themselves.  It assumes a shared identity across all other cultural experiences.

This movement, although it accomplished much in the name of women’s liberation, came under fire from “working-class women, Jewish women, postcolonial women, and differently abled women” (Seidman, 2013), all of whose experiences were marginalized or even excluded by gynocentric feminism.  Difference feminism acknowledged the diversity of women’s experiences in society, and worked to expand the range of accepted identities that could be claimed by women.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Ultimately this led to postmodern feminism.  Rather than defining women and men as two distinct and easily recognizable groups, postmodern feminism questions whether this gender binary is a valid way of interpreting women’s, or men’s, experiences.  It insists that gender roles are actually “performed” rather than genuinely experienced, and seeks to break down the entrenched notions of what forms of gender performance are acceptable.  As both occupations and social positions are labeled according to what is considered their appropriate gender by our society, and “considerable authority and prestige are attached to masculine roles” (Seidman, 2013), anyone who is not identified as traditionally male ends up being oppressed.

Discussion Questions
  • What subset of feminist thought best describes Tomasdottir’s personal ideology?
  • The article is titled “It’s Time For Women To Run For Office.”  Why does she believe this to be the case?
  • Tomasdottir points that women are less likely to run for office, and states that her initial response to being encouraged to run for President was to think, “Who am I to run for President? Who am I to be President?” (Tomasdottir, 2016).  How would a feminist explain this response?
  • The speaker notes that she had significant trouble getting access to media airtime and political debates.  How is this related to her societally imposed role as a woman?
  • The speaker notes that “in media, much like everywhere else, we have both conscious and unconscious bias” (Tomasdottir, 2016).  Describe how conscious and unconscious bias come into play in determining who is qualified to run for political office from the standpoint of feminist theory.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
  • Does it seem likely that the speaker would ascribe to the kind of unified view of women as an oppressed social class proposed by gynocentric feminism?  Why or why not?
  • Tomasdottir notes that her approval ratings in pre-election polls did not accurately reflect the actual support she got on election day. What contributing factors do you think help to explain the vast underestimation in the polls of how well she would with voters?
  • It’s clear based on the texts that women have come a long way in their struggle against oppression.  Would you say that women now have equal rights and power in Iceland, or in our society?

Seidman, Steven (2013). “Feminist Theory/Masculinity Studies.” Contested Knowledge: Social 
Theory Today (5th ed.), 205-225. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Tomasdottir, Halla (Oct, 2016). “Halla Tomasdottir: It’s Time for Women to Run for Office


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Criminology Research Proposal

Catastrophic events in society usually emphasize a focus on the victims rather than the real causes of the event and how to prevent them in the future. Victimization has become a significant problem in society, viewed as a strategy by the media to gain as much attention to their outlets as possible. In this paper, I will examine the problem of focusing on victims in the event of a catastrophe rather than according them help and reducing the attention on them as much as possible.

The paper relates to the field of victimology because it provides remedies for helping victims of catastrophic evens recover better without putting too much attention on them. The paper will identify the role of the media in revictimizing victims of catastrophic events for the sake of gaining higher viewership. A gap in the current research exists whereby there is not sufficient information provided to detail the role of the media in further aggravating the sufferings of victims of catastrophic events. Using a comparison theory approach, I will examine the difference in recovery between victims of events highly publicized as compared to those that are less publicized.

Literature Review
The problem of victims being revictimized is a theme discussed by Hlavka, Kruttschnitt & Carbone-López (2007) through an assessment of the attention given to the victims. According to the authors, victims are often exploited in order to create juicy stories, particularly for the media. This means that it will be very difficult for the victims to get the assistance they require mainly because of the impact of the ole of the media in covering the event. Similarly, the victims become the focus of attention as most people will follow up on the plight of the victims without any focus given to the cause of the catastrophic event.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

This argument is mirrored by Van Dijk (1997) who argues that undue focus on the problems that the victim has undergone is wrong. Instead, it will be necessary to place an emphasis on the causes of the events in order to prevent a future catastrophe. Victims are unable to get the assistance they require because there is an emphasis on reporting their story and revisiting the catastrophic issue for the sake of media coverage. This harmful approach leaves the victims being victimized, and more attention needs to be paid in the manner in which the media covers such stories.

The theme of ‘justice’ is also a critical element in understanding the problems that victims endure in trying to get their rights. According to Richards (2009), the problem of balancing the rights of an offender and a victim in the case of mediation can present significant problems. Whereas the victim deserves compensation for an offender inflicting any form of damage, justice must be observed, and this can limit the scale of remedy for the victim. More attention has to be paid to the justice system to analyze the plight of victims and victimization in society.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

This theme is also argued by Fattah (2010) who argues that the evolution of victimization through the years has followed parallel paths. Victimization modes in the past and present have barely changed, and this is mainly attributed to the similarities in human behavior. The author argues that the problem of seeking justice in a ‘balanced’ system will always favor a more privileged group. Therefore, victims will often find themselves revictimized in order to avoid further complaints or challenges from them. The author argues that this culture is widespread in the world and is a critical element in understanding how victimization perpetuates itself in society.

The theme of ‘mediation’ is discussed in the article by Jacobsson, Wahlin and Andersson (2012). The authors provide information about the process of getting justice for the victim, arguing that some forms of mediation are too publicized for the victim’s good. In an attempt for possible offenders to get a better deal or less punishment, the event will always be publicized in a manner that does not guarantee the victim will be able to recover well. Consequently, they end up being revictimized because of the unnecessary attention caused by the need to ensure successful mediation.

This theme is also discussed by Wilson (2009) who argues that most processes for getting justice for a victim focus too much attention on the event. Consequently, all eyes will always be on the victim, and this makes it all the harder for them to concentrate on recovery. Instead, they have to endure further scrutiny and attention, something that is inevitable in the process of mediation. As a result, it is almost impossible for them to recover in an ordinary manner, with too much attention paid to the victim, consequently revictimizing them as they are forced to live through the difficult events once more.

Theoretical Framework
The theory that will be used for the research is the lifestyle/exposure theory. This theory documents the possibility of suffering from victimization as a result of their lifestyle and general exposure in the community. The theory describes the environmental factors that determine the victimization of individuals in society, articulating the differences of the publicized events depending on their lifestyles. This theory suggests that the process of victimization is already determined by the environmental factors surrounding an individual and the scale of victimization will largely depend on their position and social status in the community.

The theory applies to the issue of the victim being revictimized by too much publicity on a catastrophic event by articulating the different levels of victimization for each person in society. Catastrophic events that happen to renowned individuals in society are more likely to be publicized than those events that happen to ordinary citizens. This means that the scale of recovery for such individuals will be much more difficult as the publicizing of such events continuously forces them to relive through the bad circumstances once more. The ordinary citizens are likely to suffer less as their lifestyle and exposure will determine the scale of victimization.

Victimization occurs depending on the scale of publicizing an event; this means that most victims are often revictimized because they have to listen to and live through such events constantly. The victims of highly publicized events usually find it much harder to live a normal life because they are constantly reminded of the bad events as they took place. The media in the twenty-first century usually focuses on such stories publicizing catastrophic events at more scale than happy events. This means that the level of publicizing will influence the recovery of a victim from a bad event.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

The media, therefore, has a critical role to play in the victimization process because they determine the type of information that will be aired. The victimization of individuals is often perpetuated by how much the event is covered by the media or discussed in society. People who recover from instances of victimization often do so successfully because there is less attention paid to the catastrophic event. This is a crucial element in understanding the best way of stopping victimization in the community and understanding the role that the entire community plays in the process.


Fattah, E. A. (2010). Chapter 3: The Evolution of a Young, Promising Discipline Sixty Years of Victimology, a Retrospective and Prospective Look. London: Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Hlavka, H. R.; Kruttschnitt, C. & Carbone-López, K. C. (2007). Revictimizing the Victims? Interviewing Women About Interpersonal Violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence Volume 22 Number 7: 894-920.

Jacobsson, M.; Wahlin, L. & Andersson, T. (2012). Victim-Offender Mediation in Sweden; Is the Victim Better Off? International Review of Victimology 18 (3): 229-249.

Richards, K. (2009). Taking Victims Seriously? The Role of Victims’ Rights Movements in the Emergence of Restorative Justice. Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Volume 21 Number 2: 302-320.

Van Dijk, J. J. M. (1997). Introducing Victimology. Amsterdam: University of Amsterdam.

Wilson, J. K. (2009). The Praeger handbook of Victimization. Praeger.


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I chose capital punishment since it’s a highly contentious issue that has raised eyebrows over the years. This paper seeks to demonstrate whether capital punishment can reduce the levels of crime or whether it increases the levels of homicide. It does so by considering various factors such as the sanity of the individual, drug influence, and juveniles as well. The paper highlights some of the relevant researches on capital punishment before drawing an appropriate conclusion. It includes the most relevant and reputable research studies that have been conducted on the same to help determine whether it should be abolished or implemented. Further, the paper documents the research methods that were used to come up with the insight for my proposal
Capital punishment


Unlike many other forms of state punishments methods such as incarceration, capital punishment is a highly contentious issue. Simply put, capital punishment refers to the death penalty, which is a government-initiated process whereby one is sentenced to death.  It is also a legal punishment for heinous crimes in some states. Some of the common capital punishment methods include electrocution, lethal injection, hanging and death by a firing squad. While capital punishment might lead to a significant level of deterrence in some criminals, it also poses some major contentious issues that should cause concern. For instance, in some cases, the defendant might be executed wrongfully, which makes this type of state initiated punishment an ineffective solution for homicide crimes. There is no solution for returning the departed individual to their loved ones.

It is important to note that a total of 56 individuals have been acquitted on the basis of innocence between the years 1973 and 2015 in the US (Durlauf, Fu & Navarro, 2013). This shows how capital punishments are in some cases inappropriate. The opponents of the death penalty might argue that this statistics underscores how some jurisdictions wrongfully advance capital punishments. On the other hand, the proponents would be quick to mention that these statistics only encompasses individuals who are exonerated in law and that the innocent individuals are only a small fraction of the criminals. It is important to note that such statistics likely underestimate the deep causes of the actual complications that arise from wrongful convictions since once the procedure occurs, there is often minimal structures that can keep the case open (Mandery & Mandery, 2011). As a result, the chances of the misappropriation of judgments or justice will never come to light.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

It’s also equally important to note that the arguments for and against this type of punishment are inspired by various notable factors including religious, ethical and practical reasons. Proponents of this type of sentences might point out that it helps to mitigate the effects of crime, improve the society by reducing repeat criminals, provide justice to the affected ones and it is a legal punishment method for the crimes that it punishes. On the contrary, those against might be quick to mention that this type of punishment is not an effective method for punishing crimes.  In fact, they would mention that it’s ineffective at reducing crime levels, it risks the chances of wrongful execution and it’s a cannibalistic method. It also places the state in the same light as the defendants that were involved in committing the heinous acts in the first place. Besides, some might argue that various factors such as geographic, social influence, gender bias and race might compromise the legitimacy of this type of punishment for criminal acts (Durlauf, Fu & Navarro 2013).

Another important factor to consider when it comes to this type of punishments is the overall cost since the conviction is more likely to settle for the appeal method if the jury provisions the death sentence, as when compared to life without parole.  More so, capital punishment also comprises of various factors to consider especially when one has been diagnosed with mental illness or is perhaps a drug addict and is sentenced to death (Nagin & Pepper, 2012). In this case, it is difficult to conclude whether the act was due to ill thinking, drug influence or as a result of mental incapacitation. Also, capital punishment becomes contentious when provisioning punishment for juveniles who have engaged in homicide acts.

Literature review

A recent study by the Uniform Crime Reports documented the effects of abolition and implementation of capital punishment in various states. The study discovered that the states without the death penalty have minimum homicide rates as when compared to the states that have implemented the same punishment. The same study documented that an average of ten of the twelve states that do not use this type of punishment experienced lower homicide rates than the average estimated amount. On the contrary, fifty percent of the states that implemented this type of punishment have crime rates that surpass the yearly national average (Lamperti, Marshall & Nixon, 1994). In fact, in the past two decades, the average homicide levels in the states that implemented the death penalty have averaged at 49%, which is slightly higher than the rate in states without this type of punishment. One such state that has experienced a significant decrease in the average number of crime levels is Michigan. Michigan abolished the capital punishment method well over 150 years ago, and the decrease in crime is notable.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

When we can accept that there might be circumstances where capital punishment is perfect for reducing murder rates, we must also realize that in some other situations it brings no significant change. Since neither side effect can be accurately measured, we are directly inclined to refer to statistical data provided by law enforcement authorities and agents from all the jurisdictions all over the country. While this data might contain some notable discrepancies, they do play an important role in determining the crime levels in various states. For instance, the uncertainty might be about the probability model especially when generating the aggregate murders by the enforcement authorities (Durlauf, 2013).  Although the statistics point out a significant level in deterring some specific crimes, the magnitude is minimal and the side effects of such a punishment might go in either direction.

For decades, homicide has been a common occurrence in states with capital punishment than in those where it had been abolished. In fact, data that was acquired from 1973 to 1984 demonstrates that the rates of murder in states without the death penalty were significantly lower and averaged at about 65% of the states that were using the same punishment method. There is minimal deterrence level that can be seen here, and it might be covered by various other notable factors (Shepherd, 2004).  Some of them include:

  • The magnitude of homicide death levels changes in various groups of states that implement the death penalty as well as those that do not. For instance, studies have shown that it is higher in states such as Indiana and Ohio, while it is less in the Middle Western states.
  • States that have similar economic conditions and social populations, it is almost impossible to differentiate the abolition state from the rest.
  • The statistics of the homicide death rates can be compared with the states that use the penalty as well as the states that have abolished it as well.

However, other notable researchers have demonstrated the short-term evidence of capital punishment on deterrence levels. For instance, in 1935, Robbert Dann published various analyses of homicide cases that occurred in Philadelphia. The peculiar aspect of the study is that it documented the homicide rates  occurring 60 days before and 60 days after the executions were made public (Grenier, 1972). The researcher pointed out that the deterrent effect of the executions led to the minimal homicide rates especially during the period before the executions. However, the result went in the opposite direction, as the rates were significantly higher. After two decades, Leonard Savitz implemented a similar study. His study documented no significant variation in the homicide levels both before and after the capital punishments.

Research design

The following are some of the steps that one may undertake when carrying out a research on the side effects of capital punishment in any given state:

  1. Highlight the levels of crime after the abolition of this type of punishment in the chosen state.
  2. Following this, highlight the crime levels in the states when the penalty was a legal execution method
  3. Consider various factors such as enforcement authorities, occurrences of other crimes such as drug dealing, socio-economic factors and gender bias when it comes to determining the efficiency of this type of convictions method.
  4. Use statistical data to document the effect of capital punishment in the various states to give a better perspective of its side effects.

Hypothesis/problem statement

If one commits an abominable act and is sentenced to life in prison, the punishment might be more effective as a deterrent for violent crimes than death penalty. Statistics have shown that there is no notable difference when it comes to abolishing or implementing this type of punishment (Nagin & Pepper, 2012). In fact, states that do not use the death penalty have relatively reduced levels of homicide crimes than the states that have implemented the same method. There is no telling what would happen if all the states embraced this form of crime punishment. Although it might go a long way in providing closure to the affected individuals, as it is also an equitable punishment for heinous acts, it raises questions when one is wrongfully convicted. The individuals who have been wrongfully executed brings in a logical reason to abolish this types of penalty, though no practical methods are available to keep cases open and to expose any miscarriages that might occur during death sentences. If executions reduced the number of homicide levels, this would be a significant factor to consider, especially when based on the adverse social side effects of this type of punishment.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]


Death penalty- the state punishment administered to someone legally convicted of a capital crime by execution.

Deterrent- an act that discourages one from engaging in unwanted acts

Capital punishment- a legally and authorized killing of someone as punishment for a certain crime
Juvenile- youth; a young person

Adult- grown-up; fully developed mature and/or developed


Durlauf, S. N., Fu, C., & Navarro, S. (2013). Capital punishment and deterrence: Understanding
disparate results. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, 29(1), 103-121.

Grenier, B. (1972). Capital punishment (1st ed.). Ottawa: Information Canada.

Lamperti, J., Marshall, J., & Nixon, R. M. (1994). Does Capital Punishment Deter Murder? 

Mallory, S. (2007). Understanding organized crime (1st ed.). Sudbury, Mass.: Jones and Bartlett.
Mandery, E. & Mandery, E. (2011). Capital punishment in America (1st ed.). Sudbury, MA:
Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Nagin, D. & Pepper, J. (2012). Deterrence and the death penalty (1st ed.). Washington, DC:
National Academies Press.

Shepherd, J. M. (2004). Murders of passion, execution delays, and the deterrence of capital
punishment. Journal of Legal Studies, 33(2), 283-321.


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Considering two markedly different approaches to training a dog (or a horse), argue that one is superior to the other

Behavioral psychology, also known as behaviorism, states that all behavior learned and acquired by an individual is a product of conditioning (Charles, 2014). This means that behaviors take form because of the condition of the environment at that time in response to a stimulus. The two major concepts of conditioning are classical conditioning and operant conditioning (Charles, 2014). When comparing the classical conditioning and operant conditioning, it becomes evident which is the best as a dog training method.

Classical Conditioning
Ivan Pavlov, best known for his dogs and bells, was among the first people to develop the concept of classical conditioning. In essence, classical conditioning involves the use of a neutral or latent stimulus to initiate a response similar to that of a potent stimulus. In Pavlov case, his latent stimulus was a dinner bell, his potent stimulus was the food, and the response he wanted to instigate was salivation. In his experiments with the three, Pavlov was able to make the dogs associate the ringing of the bells with mealtime (Roundy, 2016). He would strike his bell and then present the food. He repeated this until he was able to ring the bell and the dogs would come salivating ready to eat.[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

In doing so, the dogs developed a conditioned response, salivation, because of the unconditioned stimulus, the sound of a bell ringing, similar to that of the conditioned stimulus, the food. The overall result is a salivating dog when the bell rings. The response takes some time, however, it is impermanent, and therefore the dog can return to its normal behavior when the reward of the conditioned stimulus is removed after some time.

Operant Conditioning
Developed over the years by many, the father of operant conditioning is often considered as B F Skinner. Unlike his predecessor Thorndike, Skinner based his evaluation on the conditioning of observable behaviors and their effects on the organism. Based on experimentation, the Skinner box, also known as the operant conditioning chamber developed to replace Thorndike’s cat mazes. The observations made in the operant conditioning chambers were specific in that they allowed exposure to single stimuli in a controlled environment. [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Skinner’s principle relied on the effects of reinforcement and punishment. These were either positive or negative, and each had an effect that would alter the behavior of the organism being conditioned and is named so because of their effect. The four possible outcomes of this conditioning included Positive Reinforcement, Negative Reinforcement, Positive Punishment, and Negative Punishment (Charles, 2014). The Positive Reinforcement involved the presentation of a reward for the fulfillment of a certain action while Negative Reinforcement involved the removal of a reward because of not fulfilling a certain action. With Positive Punishment, it involved the introduction of bad consequences as a means of reducing bad behavior, while Negative Punishment involved the removal of bad consequences to reduce bad behavior.

The extinction learning is considered the fifth dimension and was designed based on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. In this case, a behavior can be forgotten if the reward being presented is no longer satisfactory enough to meet the needs of the dog under training (James, 2016).

Comparison of Operant and Classical Conditioning
In both instances, the stimulus is necessary to elicit the desired reaction. Classical conditioning uses potent and latent stimuli to create a situation in which the latent stimulus will generate an effect similar to that of the potent stimuli thus eliminating it from the picture (Charles, 2014). In operant conditioning, rewards and punishment are used, as a stimulus, to modify behavior. The difference between the two is that classical conditioning alters autonomic or involuntary reflexes responses whereas the operant conditioning alters voluntary reflexes. Based on this, a dog will obey orders to avoid punishment and receive a reward.

Over the years, with the perfection of the operant model of conditioning, punishment prevails over reward. The psychologist determined that one is more likely to conform to good behavior to avoid the consequences of punishment. This observation is present in the society today in that man is made to comply using negative reinforcement such as a ticket for going over the speed limit and losing one’s job for indolence among other numerous scenarios. It is an effective method in that the fear of the punishment makes one comply (James, 2016). In a similar manner, punishment is more effective in dogs. It creates a fear of committing bad behavior thus generating a means of compliance, though arcane.
In addition, classical conditioning is dependent on the association of the stimulus and the response. Both the potent and latent stimuli have to be present for the latent stimuli to elicit a response similar to that of the potent stimulus. Without the presence of the food, while ringing the bell initially, the dog cannot salivate since there has been no connection made between the two stimuli. For operant conditioning, reward and punishment are dependent on the behavior portrayed. For good behavior, either the dog receives a reward or the punishment reduced or minimized. When the dog behaves inappropriately, the reward is withdrawn or the punishment administered. Training a dog to sit using a spray bottle with water for punishment and treats for reward is an example of this technique (Roundy, 2016).

Despite their differences together, the two can be used in training dogs. However, the operant conditioning is more effective in the training of dogs than the classical. Operant conditioning trumps classical conditioning in that its effects are permanent and are reversed only when the reward fails to satisfy the needs of the dog. In addition, using the operant conditioning method as a training tool gives you more options regarding rewards and punishment. Lastly, it is easier and more effective to use punishment methods in that the dog will comply to avoid the effects of the punishment.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]


Charles, E. (2014, Feb 28). Explaining behaviorism: Operant & Classical Conditioning. Psychology Today.

James. (2016). Conditioning behavior. Retrieved from Den Solutions Dog Training

Roundy, L. (2016). Classical Conditioning vs. Operant Conditioning: Differences and examples.Retrieved from Study


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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has become a worldwide epidemic since it emerged in the early 1980s. HIV is an example of lentivirus that attacks the immune system of human beings and the causative agent of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in the infected individuals. People infected with this deadly virus remain infected for life and if not on retroviral therapy these individuals can develop full blown AIDS which is accompanied by fatal opportunistic infections. Ever since HIV and AIDS came into existence, many studies have been going on to determine what this virus is and how it leads to the etiology of AIDS. This paper therefore discusses HIV, its transmission, prevention, how it may have come into existence and how it results into AIDS.

Historical Relevance
HIV is believed to have been in existence since the 1950s or maybe as earlier as the 1940s. Earlier on it was thought that HIV came into existence in the 1980s. For instance, plasma samples that were taken from a man in Democratic Republic of Congo in 1959 were found to be containing HIV. Other tissue samples from an American teenager who died in 1969 were found to be having HIV. HIV is believed to have also been found in tissue samples of a soldier in Norway that died in 1976 (Weeks et al., 2013).

However, 1981 was the year HIV was recognized as a pandemic for the first time in the United States (Merson et al., 2008). The disease was associated with cases of pneumonia caused by Pnuemocytis carinii in Los Angeles among gay men and it made them believe that it was only for homosexual men. At the end of that year, however, other cases of the same had emerged among non-homosexual drug addicts who shared needles to inject themselves. The association drawn from homosexual men and this disease was further disapproved when similar cases were reported from many other countries. These cases were mainly from drug addicts, heterosexual and homosexuals who had multiple partners. In the late 1985, chemical tests were conducted to test and about 17 thousand cases were reported over 71 countries (Merson et al., 2008).

It is believed that HIV prevalence is on the rise currently due to the fact that HIV patients on retroviral therapy live longer. Cases of new infections have been seen to decline from 3.3 to 2.3 million in 2002 and 2012 respectively. By 2012, approximately 9.7% people were infected with HIV in developing countries, according to the statistics of those who were put on retroviral therapy (Maartems et al., 2014). New HIV infection cases have, however, been on the rise in the  Middle East and North Africa. The same trend has also been observed in Eastern Europe and Central Asia despite there being a decline in Ukraine over the recent years (UNAIDS, 2013).

Countries like India, Nigeria and Tanzania were leading by an estimated 100,000 number of new cases experienced per year by the year 2005 (Merson et al., 2008). The United States, Zimbabwe, Brazil and Chad among others had new cases of between 10,000<50,000 per year while Middle East countries like Afghanistan and other countries like Egypt and Poland had the lowest number of new cases per year. These countries experienced less than 1,000 new cases per year (Merson et al., 2008). [Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Etiology of HIV
Many theories have been put forth to try and explain the origin of HIV virus. Most of these theories are based on the fact that HIV is a lentivirus and shares a lot of similarities with some strains of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). It is therefore thought both strains of HIV (HIV-1 and HIV-2) are descendants of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). HIV-2 was the first strain to be linked to Simian Immunodeficiency Virus when it was found to be corresponding to a Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, (SIVsm) found in a monkey. HIV-1 on the other hand took quite some time before a clear match of SIV could be found. However, in the year 1999 SIVcpz was found to be a closer match for this strain. SIVcpz was found in chimpanzees though there still existed some significant differences between the two viruses.

Viruses are known to be very specific for the species and cells they attack. However, HIV virus has been found to be zoonotic based on the theories and studies done so far. One of these theories is the Hunter Theory which is among the most commonly accepted theories about the origin of HIV. In this theory, SIVcpz, a strain in chimpanzees, was transmitted to humans when hunters killed and ate the infected animal and even blood entering their wounds and cuts. The result was SIVcpz adapting and altering its genome which resulted into a new strain. It is also thought that other viruses like Simian Foamy Virus also got their way into human beings through the same way. This is evidenced by a study done in Cameroon in which it was found that 1% of the individuals that participated were infected with Simian Foamy Virus, a virus that was thought to infect only chimpanzees (Calattini et al., 2011).[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]

The Heart of Darkness Theory just like the hunter theory claims that HIV originated from primates. This theory claims that during the late 19th and early 20th century, most Africans were under colonial rule. It is during this particular time that Africans were subjected to forced labor in labor camps that had very poor sanitation. In this camps, they could have resorted to wild meat especially chimpanzee as the source of food. These camps were also associated with poor sanitation and health conditions. Poor health conditions of these laborers could have paved way for the SIV virus that had already infiltrated into their bodies to mutate into the deadly HIV virus. Use of unsterile needles among these laborers played a key role in onward transmission and cross-transmission.

Although theories connecting HIV to primates have been accepted by a number of people, conspiracy theories have also had their part in explaining origin of this virus. Some people believe that HIV was created by man with intentions or reasons yet to be understood. Africa is thought to have been the target for HIV, given the fact that monkeys and chimpanzees from South America and Asia have never been found to be infected with SIVs which are thought to have mutated to HIV in humans. This has resulted into many people, especially African Americans, to believe that HIV invention was part of a biological warfare program that targeted Africans, something that has been disapproved several times.

Host and Transmission HIV 
HIV just like the other viruses is specific to its host, the human being. No current studies have found documented existence and successive cause of infections by HIV in other organisms. Closer counterparts, the Simian Immunodeficiency Virus, have been found to have very many differences with HIV and are thought not to be infectious in humans.

The main portal of entry for HIV is through body fluids for instance blood. HIV does not require a vector for it to gain entry into the host. All it requires is just the contact between body fluids from the infected person and those from the other uninfected individuals. HIV is an acquired infection that occurs after fluid exchange among individuals.

There are several means by which HIV is transmitted from infected individuals to those not infected. One of these modes is through having unprotected vaginal or anal sex with infected person. During sexual intercourse, sexual fluids are produced by both partners to aid in lubrication including semen containing sperms are produced by the male partner. These fluids from an infected person contain HIV virus, and once the other partner comes into conduct with them, he or she could get infected. Also, during sexual intercourse friction could result into minor tears in the mucosa of the anal or vaginal tract and the skin of the penis of the male. It is through these cuts that this virus gains entry into the tissues then into blood where it attacks cells of the immune system.

Sharing sharp objects such as needles and razor blades with infected individuals can result into one contracting the infection. Once on the used needle, HIV can stay alive for some time, even up to 42 days, depending on the environmental conditions like moderate temperatures. Sharing syringes, cannulas and other equipment used in drug preparation with infected helps in HIV transmission.

Infected mothers who do not deliver under the care of health workers may also transmit HIV to their newborns. Mothers not taking medication pose a higher risk than those under retroviral therapy. Other uncommon means of HIV transmission include oral-sex, receiving blood infected with HIV virus during transfusions, deep-kissing with infected individuals with mouth ulcers and contact between broken skin. They are referred to as uncommon since they occur in extremely rare circumstances. For instance, before blood is transfused, it is checked to ensure there are no pathogens in it making it impossible to transfuse infected blood to an individual.

A study conducted in Bulgaria to characterize HIV-1 infections revealed that majority (69.3 %) of HIV infections were as a result of unprotected heterosexual behaviors, 16.8 % from homosexual behavior among men, 9.4 % through intradermal drug injection, 2.5% through blood transfusion and 2.0 % being mother to child in newborns (Ivanov et al., 2013). The study was a replica of other epidemiological data present during the study. Epidemiological data showed that 67.9 % of transmissions were from heterosexual behaviors, 20.4 % for injections by drug users, 9.5 % from homosexual males, 1.6 % for blood transfusion and 0.7% for mother to child (Ivanov et al., 2013).

HIV Pathogenesis and Pathology
Target cell for HIV infection are the CD4 T lymphocytes, which are crucial cells of the immune system. HIV gains entry into CD4 cells via interactions with CD4 receptors and chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4 receptors. Other cells like monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells have these chemokine receptors but lack CD4 receptors and thus they are also infected by the virus. HIV infection involves the following 8 stages; primary infection, dissemination of viral particles into lymphoid tissues, latency stage, elevated HIV levels, opportunistic infections and eventually death of the individual. The cause of HIV infection is averagely 10-15 years for those individuals not receiving retroviral therapy but longer for those on retroviral therapy.

Primary infection involves HIV entry into one’s system through either of the means mentioned above. In primary infection, the virus infects mucous membranes for about 4-11 days. Immediately, mucosal is followed by initial viremia which can be detected for about 8-12 weeks. During this period, the virus is transported throughout the body through blood. It is during this time that lymphoid organs are seeded with HIV viral particles. This viremia is accompanied by an acute mononucleosis-like syndrome in some patients. This occurs at about 3-6weeks after one acquires the infection. Circulating CD4 cells also reduce during this time.

Body immune system has the mandate of guarding us against infections. The immune system responds to HIV infection 1 week to 3 months after primary infection. This response is attributed to the production of neutralizing antibodies (Maartems et al., 2014) which results into a drop in viremia and returning CD4 cells back to their levels. However, the body immune system does not eliminate the virus completely and HIV-infected cells persist in lymphoid organs sending the infection into a latency stage.

Latency period of HIV lasts for several years with the individual being asymptomatic. During this period, there is increased viral replication while at the same time there is viral destruction by the immunes system. This is attributed to work performed by CD8 cells in killing the infected CD4 cells and adaptive immune responses during this period (Maartems et al., 2014). However, due to inherent errors during HIV genome replication, HIV genome is known to mutate very rapidly something that is impossible for the immune system to cope up with, and so with time the virus levels in the individual’s system are elevated.

With elevated viral loads, the patient eventually develops symptoms and opportunistic infections. This is a result of a compromised immune system of the individual that is brought about by the many CD4 cells infected and their eventual killing by CD8 cells. HIV virus levels during this time are very high and very virulent. HIV viruses in late stage of HIV infection are believed to have shifted from macrophage-tropic (M-tropic) to lymphocyte-tropic (T-tropic) strains which have high virulence.

Elevated virus levels in the body are characterized with gross destruction of cells of the immune system. Monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells and the CD4 lymphocytes are cells that fall victims. Destruction of CD4 and other cells of the immune system results into immune suppression. This therefore means that this individual can be infected by other diseases that would have not infected him/her with their non-compromised immunity. It is this state of immunity that results into Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and some other fungal infections can now attack this patient. Opportunistic infections are the predominant causes of death in HIV/AIDS patients. [Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

Signs and Symptoms for HIV
HIV infection is characterized by several signs and symptoms associated with its stages of infection. HIV patients are known to experience varying signs and symptoms during the different stages but there are some that are typical in most of the patients. The following is an outline of the stages of HIV and its signs and symptoms.

Primary infection is the stage in which one acquires the virus. The duration of this period varies among different individuals but it is known to be up to 3 months. Majority of infected individuals present with signs and symptoms during this period. Some of these symptoms would include fever for about 14 days, sore throat, severe headaches and mouth ulcers. Other HIV patients will only report cases of mild flu that which they report in less than 7 weeks after the day they believe to have contracted the disease. All these symptoms are brought about by the body producing antibodies against the virus. During this period most individuals would test negative when tested.

Asymptomatic stage is the stage when individuals that have already tested positive continue to stay healthy with no symptoms. However, this period varies greatly among different individuals but it takes several years. It is during this period that the HIV virus infection is at its latency stage. These differences are attributed to genetic differences among individuals and differences in immunity.

Symptomatic infection is the period during which symptoms occur. These symptoms include experiencing diarrhea or watery stool, sweating during the night, one feeling fatigued and cases of weight loss among others. These symptoms are attributed to the fact that viral loads are high, the body immune system has been overwhelmed and at the same time is undergoing destruction by the virus.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]

The last stage is advanced HIV infection also known as AIDS. People said to have reached this stage have low CD4 counts. These individuals also have opportunistic infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and mycoses. These opportunistic diseases are the causers of the life-threatening symptoms such as rapid wasting, severe diarrhea and uncontrolled coughing. Finally, when the individuals are overwhelmed they die, not from AIDS but from this opportunistic infections. It should be understood that AIDS is not a disease but rather a condition.

HIV Treatment 
There is no cure for HIV infection at the moment. However, there are many studies going on with the aim of finding a cure or vaccine. The ever mutating HIV virus poses a big problem towards the development of a definite cure. Retroviral therapy is what is currently used by HIV patients to prolong their lives. HIV virus is a retrovirus and so is susceptible to retroviral agents. However, diseases progression of HIV-2 is slow as compared to HIV-1. HIV-2 is also less susceptible to most of the retroviral agents.

Retroviral agents work on the basis that they block processes of the virus necessary for replication. Retroviral drugs include nucleoside and nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors, non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, protease inhibitors, fusion inhibitors, intergrase inhibitors and CCR5 antagonists.

Nucleoside/nucleotide reverse transcriptase inhibitors block replication of viral genomes by inhibiting incorporation nucleotides and terminating elongation of pro-viral DNA. These drugs inhibit both strains of HIV. Examples of these drugs include lamivudine and tenofovir. Non-nucleoside inhibitors on the other hand bind to the hydrophobic pocket on the reverse transcriptase and reduce the conformational change of this enzyme hence reducing its activity. Examples include nevirapine and entravine.[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]

Protease inhibitors (prevent cleavage of produced proteins to finalize viral assembly), fusion inhibitor (prevents fusion of the virus with the host cell), intergrase inhibitors (prevents integration of viral genome into the host genome example is raltegravir) and CCR5 inhibitors (inhibits viral entry an example being maraviroc) also help in the control of HIV virus replication. However this drugs need to be used in combination for them to be effective. They are classified into regimens and are alternated in case the patient becomes unresponsive to one.

Relevance to the Society
HIV has impacted more negatively to the society with no known positive impacts. HIV has resulted into many deaths in the world since it was declared a pandemic in 1981. Many families have also been left poor due to financial resources pumped into combating this infection.

Stigmatization is also a problem among those infected with this deadly disease. Marriages have been reported to have been broken once one partner is found to be positive. During early days, some cases of people getting killed or committing suicide once tested positive have also been reported.


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