AIDS in Africa

1046 Words5 Pages
Africa’s AIDS Epidemic Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become an epidemic for many underdeveloped regions. Although it does exist in the developed nations, it is more prevalent in places like South America, Asia, the island countries and most heavily of all Africa. There are many aspects to the problem of AIDS in Africa. Public health departments lack the resources to treat patients properly and to control the epidemic through education. Thirty-three million people have AIDS in the world. Africa has two-thirds of that number. According to the United Nations Aids Program on HIV/Aids, and World Health Organization (WHO), estimates, seven out of ten people newly infected with HIV in 1998 live in sub Saharan Africa. Among children under 15, the proportion is nine out of ten. Of all Aids deaths since the epidemic started, eighty-three percent have been in the region. These numbers sound even more astonishing considering only one-tenth of the world’s population lives in Africa, south of the Sahara. The amount of Africans affected by the epidemic is frightening. Since the start of the epidemic, an estimated 34 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa have been infected with HIV. Approximately 11.5 million of those people have already died, one-fourth of them being children. During the course of 1998, Aids has been responsible for an estimated two million deaths in Africa. There is about 21.5 million men and women living with HIV in Africa, plus an extra one million being children. Four million of those people contracted the infection in 1998 alone (Mail & guardian). No country in Africa has escaped the virus. Most of the new infections are concentrated in East Africa and especially in the southern part of the continent. In fact, the southern region of Africa holds majority of the world’s most hard-hit countries with the most AIDS cases. According to the Department of Health, South Africa’s current estimates show that over one person out of every five between the age of 15 and 49 is living with HIV or Aids in Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was especially hit hard. There are twenty-five surveillance sites in the country where blood taken from pregnant women is tested anonymously as a way of tracking the HIV infection. The most recent data, from 1997, show that HIV prevalence was below ten percent in just two sites.

More about AIDS in Africa

Open Document