South Africa and the Aids Epidemic

Topics: South Africa, HIV, AIDS Pages: 4 (1350 words) Published: May 6, 2008
South Africa and the Aids Epidemic

Political Chaos and Denial among the responsible … Where is the South African Government?…And what about the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers?... There is no surprise for the US reaction… Nowhere in the world is the HIV/AIDS epidemic more widespread than the continent of Africa. For South Africa, political disturbance and government denial has fed an epidemic that has reached catastrophic proportions. As the numbers of infected and dead continue to rise, the impact on the people of South Africa and the entire world is growing. South Africa’s past is tainted with apartheid. The HIV/AIDS epidemic emerged in South African around 1982. However, the country had bigger problems caused by racial horrors, so the HIV problem was for the most part ignored. Mainly because of the slow reaction of the government the disease spread and by the mid-90s, HIV rates had increased by 60 percent and became a public health disaster. Corruption and poor oversight have undermined South Africa's fight against HIV/ Aids. A five-year HIV/AIDS plan outlined in 2000 by the South African Department of Health got little support from South African President Thabo Mbeki. After consulting a group of scientists, Mbeki rejected conventional HIV science and instead blamed the growing AIDS epidemic on poverty. He was saying that prostitutes, migrant laborers, the ill-educated, and victims of sexual abuse are more likely to be infected by HIV. This statement was maybe not totally wrong since it mentioned a group of people that have a higher mortality rate across the board. But his stand had an impact on the whole health system and it certainly hurt all the efforts of the medical circle, because he was questioning the link between HIV and AIDS, a popular argument made by the Aids denialists. Today, experts around the world believe that a combination of political unrest, poor government support and political denial has inflamed HIV and Aids in South Africa. Like many...
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