Hiv / Aids : A Manifestation Of Poverty Essay

Hiv / Aids : A Manifestation Of Poverty Essay

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By the year 2000, 58 million people have been infected by HIV/AIDS and alarming numbers such as 22 million would have already died. And the epidemic continues to spread. HIV/AIDS historically is considered to be one of the longest running worldwide epidemics that we have ever seen, and figures cannot be placed on the true death tolls or estimation of the damage as the cycle still is yet to reach an end (Whiteside 2002). With Africa being the worst hit continent in the world in terms of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and the severity of it’s prevalence; one can only begin to question whether HIV/AIDS and poverty and directly connected or the inter-linkages exacerbate one or the other. This paper aims to argue that HIV/AIDS is a manifestation of poverty, and simultaneously poverty contributes to growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. Development in response both to poverty reduction and to HIV/AIDS is complicated when both have multi-dimensional and multi-faceted impacts on a society, whether it be social, economic or human development impacts. This paper will argue that pre-existing socio economic conditions within a country such as high levels of poverty, poor sanitation, malnutrition, environmental degradation and poor public healthcare systems and limited access to preventative care are crucial factors in contributing to the transfer of the infection (Pasteur: 2000, Mann: 1999).
African governments have given in to the whim’s of international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in social and health policies, and with this, has come a shift away from former emphasis on social justice and equitable market efficiency to public health services for all now being perceived as a major threat ...


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...he likelihood of women and girls engaging in risky sexual behaviour as a means of survival particularly when formal employment and other means of employment do not provide enough income to cover even the most basic of necessities. Extreme poverty fosters an element of high-risk behaviour and corrodes
(ILO: 2005).
The World Bank (1997) stated that “widespread poverty and unequal income distribution of income that typify underdevelopment, the lack of choices and the inability to determine one’s own destiny fuel the HIV epidemic.” Contestably studies from African countries which delve deeper in to the root causes and impacts of the correlation between HIV/AIDS and poverty through analysing statistical epidemiological and socioeconomic data suggest that there is a notable correlation between the spreading of HIV/AIDS and wealth / more prosperous states within Africa.

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