Aids Epidemic

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Aids Epidemic in Africa

Over 30 million people worldwide have been infected with the HIV-AIDS virus. With such high numbers, the troubling fact is that 95% of those cases permeate Africa. Obviously AIDS cannot be cured or reversed in any sense, however with proper insight and treatment it can be controlled. The means for proper treatment is exactly what Africa lacks, in comparison to other regions. Nearly 2.3 million deaths occurred in 2003 within the sub-Saharan region of Africa.The efforts have been increased by various organizations and government spending to treat the disease, however the virus is still spreading and kills thousands upon thousands of Africans each year. Throughout this paper, I will look at some of the steps that have been taken in order to contain the virus in regards to Africa, and the effectiveness of them. In Botswana, the percentage of people living with HIV/AIDS has doubled since 1992 from 20% to 40%. A third of the country was infected by 1995. The echo of increasing numbers loomed over surrounding countries as 3.2 million were newly diagnosed in 2003 and 2.3 million Africans died the previous year. In comparison with Thailand (a country known for its drug and sex trafficking) with fewer anti-AIDS campaigns the infection rates are still drastically lower, at 2%. The region of sub-Saharan Africa is the worst in terms of infection. Botswana, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, and Lesotho are all similar in the sense that they have infection rates reaching merely 40%. Over 11 million children are orphaned by AIDS within the sub-Saharan region. Throughout the 27 million that are infected, 10 million of those are people between the ages of 15-24. 3 million of those people are under 15 years of age. Almost half of the entire pregnant demographic in Francistown, Botswana in main hospitals were tested positive for the virus. When these women give birth, their children will have up to a 90% chance of contracting HIV.

To conquer the high rates of infection, there have been a plethora of educational programs, distribution of condoms, and various treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. However, such std’s such as syphilis and gonorrhea create genital sores and ulcers which make it easier for the spread of HIV. This has caused experts in the field to reconsider old theories about how the virus spreads throughout Africa.

Former member of Sociology and Public Health Department- Dr. Martina Morris, traveled to Uganda in 1993 to garner data based on sexual behavior between HIV positive Africans. Dr. Morris helped to create a computer based program to predict the spread of the virus in a given population base, with factors focusing on the number of sexual partners which people shared and the duration of such relationships. Dr. Morris also conducted similar surveys in both the United States and Thailand. Throughout the survey, she did not find similar results which compared to Uganda. The survey showed that both the average male in Uganda and the United States claimed almost the same amount of sexual partners in their lives. However, having the same amount of sexual partners did not result in the same number of infections. The infection rates in Uganda loomed around 18% while in the United States, the rates never exceeded 1%. What is even more astounding, is that in Thailand- over 65% of men reporting to have had 10 or more sexual partners had an infection rate just over 2%. The Ugandan men in the study, claimed to have had maintained 2 or more long term sexual relationships during one time.

Dr. Morris concluded that having sexual contact with a prostitute who has the HIV-AIDS virus is not as bad as having a long term relationship with someone who has the HIV-AIDS virus. Dr. Morris believes that the likelihood of getting the HIV-AIDS virus during sexual contact can be as low as one in one hundred to one in a thousand. Per se, a man can have sexual relationships with hundreds of different women, and...
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