What Caused the Influx of Aids in Sub-Saharan Africa and Effect It Has Had on the Economic System.

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Abu-Turaab Saiyed
Geography 120
Constantine Ress
Final paper

What caused the influx of AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and Effect it has had on the Economic System.

    
   It is well know that AIDS is a rising pandemic across the world, especially in African nations. AIDS is spreading rampant throughout the African continent, killing in the millions. This paper will explain the causes of why Aids is an uprising pandemic in the sub-Saharan region of Africa in past two decades. The Sub-Saharan Africans being the most heavily affected by AIDS than any other region of the world is due to a number of factors which influence the rate at which HIV is transmitted. Such factors include: poverty, prostitution, the pharmaceutical industry, gender inequality, sexual violence, other sexually transmitted infections (which facilitate HIV transmission), lack of male circumcision, high mobility, rapid urbanization and modernization, and ineffective leadership during critical periods in the epidemic’s spread.

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. “Acquired means you can get infected with it; Immune Deficiency means a weakness in the body’s system that fights diseases. Syndrome means a group of health problems that make up a disease. AIDS is caused by a virus called HIV, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (The AIDS Infonet).”  The result of this disease is the destruction of the patient's immune system. Since the infected person has no ability to fight off any infection because the virus is replicating in and destroying the cells that normally fight infection, he/she then becomes susceptible to all opportunistic disease. Ultimately death occurs as a result of the body's inability to fight infection (Shabani).

If we look back at the history of AIDS in Africa 30 years ago, AIDS was virtually non-existent. The number of people suffering from AIDS dramatically grew from the 1980’s moving into the 90’s. In the year 2000 just in Sub Saharan Africa the figures of people living with HIV were a staggering 25 million (“HIV and Aids…”). After that the amount has grown to take the percentage of the population, which are suffering even further. In the year 2009 the death toll was about 1.3 million from AIDS alone in sub-Saharan Africa, and further reported 1.8 million people became infected with the HIV virus that same year. Since the start of the epidemic, 14.8 million children have lost a parent or both parents to the deadly virus (Avert). AIDS significantly affects problems in Africa including life expectancies, which have fallen below 49 years in some African countries due to AIDS, which is lower than they were in the 1970s (“HIV and Aids…”). Most AIDS deaths occur among young adults, and these deaths have a devastating effect on families, communities and economies. The epidemic is causing havoc across theses African nations

        The first and most prevalent reason why AIDS is spreading at such a dangerously rapid rate is due to the severity of poverty in these sub-Saharan African regions.  Like most communicable diseases, AIDS is also linked to poverty. Poverty and AIDS have a directt relationship, and are a major factor in the transmissions of Aids. “Although there are some powerful critiques of the poverty-AIDS argument, which claim that many of the worst affected African countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa are among the most economically developed in the region, poverty does seem to be a crucial factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS (Economic and Social Department).”It must be noted that the poor people infected with HIV are considerably more likely to become sick and die faster than the non-poor since they are likely to be malnourished, in poor health, and lacking in health attention and medications and this is very common in theses Southern African Nations.

The poverty in theses areas also leads to another problem in terms of work. Women who are impoverished are more likely to turn to...
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