Hiv/Aids South Africa

Topics: AIDS, HIV / Pages: 22 (5292 words) / Published: Oct 29th, 2008
The HIV/AIDS Epidemic
In South Africa
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is one of many infectious diseases that plague the world today. According to the 2007 AIDS epidemic update put out by The United Nations Joint Program on HIV/AIDS (UNIADS) there were approximately 2.1 million AIDS related deaths and 33.2 million people infected with HIV world wide (UNAIDS/WHO Working Group, 2007). Despite its abundant resources and its well-developed financial sectors, South Africa has the largest HIV infected population in the world with approximately 5.7 million of its 44 million citizens living with HIV/AIDS (Global Health Facts, 2007). These 5.7 million cases alone account for over 28% of the worlds HIV cases (UNAIDS/WHO Working Group, June 2008) This epidemic has gradually escalated to such an extent that it is now causing approximately 350,000 deaths a year (UNAIDS/WHO Working Group, July 2008) which is nearly 1,000 people, including children, in South Africa dying every day due to AIDS.
As can be expected, there are numerous amount of factors that have contributed to the ever-increasing severity of South Africa's AIDS epidemic. This paper will venture to explain and rationalize these overwhelming statistics that have unfortunately begun to characterize South Africa by examining:
The etiology of HIV/AIDS
The breakdown of statistical data surrounding the AIDS epidemic in South Africa
The historical context of AIDS in South Africa
The stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS in South Africa
The health care systems represented in South Africa
The testing, treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in South Africa
The future for AIDS in South Africa.
The Etiology of HIV/AIDS
Before one can dive into how HIV and AIDS affect a population, one must first begin to understand the disease itself. Even among educated groups the terms HIV and AIDS are often misused interchangeably. The fact is that HIV and AIDS are



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