HIV/AIDS, Herpes and HPV in South African Youth

Powerful Essays

The South African youth is the most affected demographic in sexually transmitted diseases due to the high number of cases it presents. According to the UNAIDS, it is this age group of the population that has shown the highest HIV prevalence over time. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like Herpes and HPV within the South African youth are also associated to the transmission of HIV because both of them increase the risk of infection. Furthermore, this interrelation between HIV and other STDs helps explain the HIV epidemic in South Africa.

To better understand the situation of HIV/AIDS, Herpes and HPV prevalence over the last decade in the South African youth, we’ll first explain what these diseases are, how they are transmitted, what their symptoms are and what their current treatments are. Secondly, we’ll do an analysis into the statistics of these STDs. Concluding if there is an increment or decrease in cases, what is the trend and if the South African youth is becoming aware of these STDs.


A. What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV or the Human Immunodeficiency Virus debilitates the immune system by destroying the T-cells, which are the cells that fight disease and infection in the organism. HIV first infects these cells and multiplies using them, later destroying them. (Whiteside 2008)

AIDS or the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome is the last phase of the HIV infection. In this phase, an infected person’s immune system is severely damaged and has difficulties fighting diseases. People at this stage are prone to one or more opportunistic infections and certain cancers. Opportunistic infections develop when the immune system is weakened causing terrible illnesses. (; CDC)

B. How is H...

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Pettifor et al. 2007. Highly efficient HIV transmission to young women in South Africa. AIDS. 21(7): 861-865.

UNAIDS. Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS. Available at: Accessed February 12, 2011.

UNICEF. 2009. The State of the World’s Children. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.

Wasserheit, J. 1992. Epidemiological Synergy: Interrelationships between Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 19(2): 61-77.

Whiteside, A. 2008. HIV/AIDS: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford; New York: Oxford

University Press.

WHO. World Health Organization website. Available at: Accessed February 2, 2011.