Hiv/Aids in Africa

Topics: AIDS, Africa, HIV Pages: 5 (1912 words) Published: April 30, 2013
HIV/AIDS has been named a global epidemic with its toll being felt significantly especially in Africa. It has been a major cause of death in the world; it also continues to be a public health concern. It poses a risk to future generations with villages being wiped out due to its impacts (Iliffe, p.47). The most affected generation being the most active age group leaving the elderly and aged to look after the young. Widows and orphans have been a major occurrence in many villages and they struggle through thick and thin to survive the impacts of HIV (Shah, para.3). Statistics have proved that Africa has been most affected with the situation being aggravated by the poverty levels in the continent. The statistics from the World Health Organization have shown that 34.3 million people in the globe have the AIDS virus and of the 34.3 million 24.5 million live in the Sub Saharan Africa. This means that majority of the people with HIV live in Africa (Shah, para.6; (UNAIDS, 2006). Practically 19 million people have died from the deadly AIDS virus with 3.8 million of dead being children who are under the age of 15. To add insult to injury 5.4 million HIV global cases were recorded in 1999 with 4 million occurring in Africa. This means that people continue to get infected more. Statistics of 1999 indicate that of the 2.8 million deaths caused by AIDS, 2.4 million were recorded in Africa (Shah, para.7). The effects continue to bite with people being infected and affected by the impacts of the HIV virus (UNAIDS, 2006). Children bear the largest blunt of the problem when they are left as orphans to take care of themselves; of the 13.2 million children orphaned globally 12.1 million are in Africa (Shah, para.8). This gives the plight of the children. Children are also infected through parent children transition due to lack of proper health care and inadequate advice. Children are left to care for their young siblings and more they have to care for their ailing parents (UNAIDS, 2006). They are either forced to drop out of school and engage in child labor to be able to provide for those depending on them. The girls are forced to participate in degrading activities such as prostitution so that they are able to provide for the others and themselves. The opportunistic infections have continued to make the people spend so much money in treating them without knowing they have the virus (Shah, para.12). For example tuberculosis has been a main infection which infected people struggle to heal. The stigma from family members and society also continue to be a major problem since they are left to struggle on their own to earn a living and provide for the medicines and diets. The family cast them out on grounds that they are bewitched which means they are not fit to be in society they are condemned to die which contributes to more problems in society (Fourie, 54). The medications have also been so expensive to buy for the people infected; the antiretroviral medications are unaffordable and un available to many so that they may be able to lead a normal life. In addition they are supposed to feed on a very rich diet which is a must for them to be able to live properly. However the food is unavailable and unaffordable to most individuals who have to toil day and night to earn a living. Most of the people in Africa live below the poverty line with millions living below a dollar a day (Iliffe, p.52). The behavior change has also contributed to an increase in the disease where odd and unwelcoming behavior such as wife inheritance contributing to the spread of AIDS. Political will has also not been present since they have continued to watch the menace rip off the citizens without committing themselves to action. The governments have remained under debt from the international donors in that they can't have anymore to spare for the national disasters. The countries rely on donors, international organizations such as World Health Organization, UNICEF and UNAIDS...
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