HIV and Aids in Sub Saharan Africa


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HIV and Aids in Sub Saharan Africa

Introduction

Sub Saharan Africa has a very serious HIV / AIDS epidemic with
millions of its people living with the disease. It has now become a
human tragedy in many areas of the world, but most affected is sub
Saharan Africa. It is no coincidence that the countries suffering most
with HIV / AIDS are also the poorest. HIV / AIDS is now considered to
be the single most important impediment to social progress to many
countries in Africa .This report will analyse the current situation
using up to date sources from articles, books and the World Wide Web.

UN Millennium development goals

At the start of the new millennium, all 191 UN member states pledged
to meet all the UN Millennium goals by the year 2015. These goals
covered such issues as, poverty, hunger, education, aid, gender
equality, child mortality, pre natal care, environmental
sustainability and HIV / Aids. All UN states have agreed to, "Halt and
begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS."
(http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/). At Present, the HIV prevalence
rates are still rising in sub Saharan Africa. The rate is seven ties
higher in developing countries than it is in developed countries.

Many different schemes are trying to reverse this trend. These schemes
include,â?¦. Oxfam, who work to help ease developing world suffering
believe that the only scheme that will help reduce HIV / AIDS in
developing countries is to cancel world debt.

"Unsustainable debt represents a huge barrier to progress in the fight
against HIV / AIDS. Repayments to creditors by some of the poorest
countries in the world are diverting the resources needed to respond
to current suffering."

(http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what_we_do/issues/debt_aid/bp25_debt_hivaids.htm)

Oxfam and other similar organisations believe that countries with high
prevalence rates could help them selves to solve the aids epidemic if
they did not have to meet large debt repayments to the developed
world.

Concurring the epidemic

Unfortunately this disease is not easily concurred. The disease is
still today considered to be taboo, making it difficult to talk to

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"HIV and Aids in Sub Saharan Africa." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Dec 2017
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people about, and even harder to educate women about contraception and
ways in which the disease can be contracted. This has led to the
development of many urban myths in sub Saharan Africa concerning
HIV/AIDS. These include the belief that sex with a virgin will cure
aids. This myth has been seen at the centre of recent stories
involving sexual abuse and child rape. Not only does this not cure the
abuser, it exposes their victims to the risk of infection with HIV,
which may lead to their developing and dying from AIDS, and spreading
HIV still further into the population.

Treatments have been developed, but no cure for HIV or AIDS have yet
been found. Scientists have worked to understand how HIV infects and
damages human cells since AIDS was identified. From this they created
treatments that help most people live longer. The infected people have
to take medications to help them keep healthy and possibly postpone
the development of AIDS. Most of the medication has difficult side
effects. Even with all of this, about 18 months after a person has
been diagnosed with AIDS, he or she usually get quite sick and require
hospital care. The virus infects children and newborns, too. Newborns
become quite ill by age 1, because their immune system has not fully
developed. Most babies that are infected die by 18 months. Developing
countries do not have the financial resources needed for the therapies
that can prolong life or offer care for the very ill.

Stopping the spread of the disease in sub Saharan Africa

The only way to stem the spread of infection remains the public health
approach, educating people on how to avoid infection or educating the
infected people on how to avoid infecting someone else. There are many
ways to prevent the transmission and spread of AIDS. A person has to
be aware, because most people who are infected don't know they are.
One way to prevent infection is to not engage in the act of sexual
intercourse with anyone who is or might be infected. If someone is
going to, then he or she should at least use a latex condom. It is
medically proven that latex condoms can help to prevent HIV and other
sexually transmitted diseases. It is almost impossible to catch the
virus if the condom is used properly. Condoms do not completely
eliminate the risk of being infected because they can tear, break, or
slip off. Birth control pills and diaphragms will not protect a person
or his or her partner from getting HIV either. Also, infected women
should not breast feed their infants, since HIV can be present in the
breast milk of an infected woman.

Conclusion

The social consequences of HIV/AIDS for the hardest-hit countries are
devastating. In Zimbabwe and Botswana, a drop of 22 years in average
life expectancy is expected by 2010; in Kenya the figure is 18 years.
Families suffer impoverishment, because it is precisely the most
productive members of families and communities who fall victim to the
disease. All areas of society, such the educational system and the
food production sector, are affected.

Poverty in all its various dimensions and facets is a hotbed for the
epidemic, and its impacts are in turn important factors in the
impoverishment of population groups. Internationally too, the link
between "pauperisation" and the epidemic continues unchecked: socially
and economically debilitated countries and populations run increased
risks of HIV infection and suffer dramatically under the impact of the
epidemic.

Among the achievements of modern society are general access to
training and health services - including medication - elimination of
sexual and economic exploitation, and the democratisation of life
worlds. In the long term and on the international level, successful
control of HIV/AIDS will be tied to bringing these achievements as
fully as possible to broad segments of the population and a great
number of countries.


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