NURS 420- Policy Brief
HIV/AIDS in Zambia
In 2014, UNAIDS estimated that around 1,200,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia. According to the UNAIDS report, the prevalence rate for adults aged 15 to 49 is 12.4%. About 1 million women aged 15 and up are living with AIDS and roughly 100,000 children aged 0 to 14 are living with HIV. (UNAIDS) The most affected populations are men who have sex with men (MSM), migrants, sex workers, women, children and orphans. Some of the risk factors are having multiple and concurrent sexual partnerships, mother to child transmission, and low condom use. HIV/AIDS is impacting the economy by reducing labor supply and increasing costs. It is socially impacting the community by weakening the workforce, and increasing social issues. Providing education of sexually transmitted infections, the practice of safe sex and of information regarding mother to child transmission is a low cost effective approach in tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The number of people living with HIV in Zambia, a relatively small country in southern Africa, is steadily rising. UNICEF estimates that 226 new adult infections and 25 new child infections occur each day. According to AVERT, an international AIDS and HIV charity, 27,000 people were accounted for AIDS related death in 2013. Life expectancy is 58.1 years, which is an increase from the year 2012 where the life expectancy was 49.4 years. (AVERT)
Men who have sex with men, sex workers, migrants, women, children and orphans are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS than other groups. In Zambia, it is illegal for men to have sex with men so there is little data about the HIV epidemic of this population. It is reported that elsewhere (Sub Saharan Africa) HIV preva...
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...hild transmission would do this. This is a low cost prevention approach to HIV/AIDS epidemic. A study done in Kenya showed that sexually transmitted disease control and condom promotion was 8-12 U.S dollars in cost per case averted. (Marseille, 20012) It was less than $1 in U.S in cost per disability adjusted life year (DALY). Doing something similar in Zambia would be cost effective too. By promoting positive attitudes and behavior towards women’s health, one is ensuring long-term improvements. Increasing awareness and overcoming the stigma of the disease is the first step to taking action. Helping the women in the community have a voice in practicing safe sex and becoming an advocate of the use of condoms and being knowledgeable in mother to child transmission can mitigate the chances of HIV transmission in various fields (i.e. marriages, sex work, migrant work).
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