The Impact of One Infectious Disease on Health , Economic Development and Lifestyle of the Area Where It Occurs

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  • Topic: AIDS, HIV, Antiretroviral drug
  • Pages : 3 (930 words )
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  • Published : May 1, 2013
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Discuss the impact of one infectious disease on the health, economic development and lifestyle of the area where it occurs?

An infectious disease that affects health, economic development and lifestyle is HIV/AIDS. This disease is a pandemic that has spread over continents and all over the world. An area where this disease has effected the most is in South Africa, this is because it’s estimated that 5.6 million people are living with HIV and AIDS.

Leading on to my next point, this has a massive effect on health due to the fact that this disease affects the immune system and so therefore shortens life expectancy. The average life expectancy in South Africa is 51 years old compared to MEDCS e.g. the UK average life expectancy is 80. Health care in South Africa is very poor as there is a shortage of doctors there. Although the public system serves the vast majority of the population, it is chronically underfunded and understaffed. In 2005, South Africa spent only 8.7 percent of GDP on health care; this is $437 per capita, this is very poor as there is almost nothing being spent on health care in support of preventing HIV/AIDS. There is an average of almost 1,000 deaths of AIDS a day in South Africa due to the fact that there is a poor health care system in place. This disease is passed on through intercourse, the majority of the time its passed through unprotected anal or vaginal sex, sharing injecting equipment and from a mother to her baby during pregnancy; birth or when breast feeding.

Antiretroviral drugs restrain the growth and reproduction of HIV. When several such drugs, typically three or four, are taken in combination, the approach is known as highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART. HAART decreases the amount of HIV and rebuilds the immune system. Although this system is proven to be very effective, there is a lack of funding and availability of this drug to the public sector as this drug is not affordable to the majority of people...
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