Surname 1Name:University:Course:Tutor:Date: HIV/ AIDS in Africa The Problem HIV/AIDS has been named a global epidemic with its toll being felt significantlyespecially in Africa. It has been a major cause of death in the world; it also continues to be apublic health concern. It poses a risk to future generations with villages being wiped out due toits impacts (Iliffe, p.47). The most affected generation being the most active age group leavingthe elderly and aged to look after the young. Widows and orphans have been a major occurrencein 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 beingaggravated by the poverty levels in the continent. The statistics from the World HealthOrganization have shown that 34.3 million people in the globe have the AIDS virus and of the34.3 million 24.5 million live in the Sub Saharan Africa. This means that majority of the peoplewith HIV live in Africa (Shah, para.6; (UNAIDS, 2006). Practically 19 million people have diedfrom 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 millionoccurring in Africa. This means that people continue to get infected more. Statistics of 1999indicate that of the 2.8 million deaths caused by AIDS, 2.4 million were recorded in Africa
Surname 2(Shah, para.7). The effects continue to bite with people being infected and affected by theimpacts of the HIV virus (UNAIDS, 2006). Children bear the largest blunt of the problem when they are left as orphans to take careof 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 childrentransition due to lack of proper health care and inadequate advice. Children are left to care fortheir young siblings and more they have to care for their ailing parents (UNAIDS, 2006). Theyare either forced to drop out of school and engage in child labor to be able to provide for thosedepending on them. The girls are forced to participate in degrading activities such as prostitutionso that they are able to provide for the others and themselves. The opportunistic infections havecontinued to make the people spend so much money in treating them without knowing they havethe virus (Shah, para.12). For example tuberculosis has been a main infection which infectedpeople struggle to heal. The stigma from family members and society also continue to be a major problem sincethey are left to struggle on their own to earn a living and provide for the medicines and diets. Thefamily cast them out on grounds that they are bewitched which means they are not fit to be insociety 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 antiretroviralmedications are unaffordable and un available to many so that they may be able to lead a normallife. In addition they are supposed to feed on a very rich diet which is a must for them to be ableto live properly. However the food is unavailable and unaffordable to most individuals who haveto toil day and night to earn a living. Most of the people in Africa live below the poverty linewith millions living below a dollar a day (Iliffe, p.52).
Surname 3 The behavior change has also contributed to an increase in the disease where odd andunwelcoming 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 ripoff the citizens without committing themselves to action. The governments have remained underdebt from the international donors in that they can’t have anymore to spare for the nationaldisasters. The countries rely on donors, international organizations such as World HealthOrganization, UNICEF and UNAIDS and well wisher for any help they can get to combat thedisease and its effects (Iliffe, p.89). Some after getting the money they squander it with otherexpenses while corruption swindle the rest. Orphans, widows and people affected and infectedby the disease are left at the mercy of the cruel disease. Medicines are channeled to untargetedareas and sold at higher prices making it very impossible for the individuals that are to benefit inthe streets (Shah, para.10). HIV/AIDS has been a great hindrance to development since it has affected the people’sproductivity and even the continent has lost so many resourceful people who would havecontributed to its development. On the other hand the numerous amounts of money channeledtowards the disease could have been channeled to other development activities. The effects of the AIDS virus have made it more problematic to fight poverty, promotedevelopment, and progress health. The individuals are no able to work to either supportthemselves or their families; they also spend the amount they earn in treatment and health carerather than meet household costs (Iliffe, p.68). There is also a crisis in the socioeconomic andgender disparities; making women at high risk of infections and therefore cannot be able toprovide for their families. The children are also affected by the illness of their parents or theirdeath; the children dropout resulting to social breakdown.
Surname 4 Life expectancy has reduced with the average life expectancy being below 50 years thishas affected the social systems and people in general. There has been high child mortality, andmore deaths on the youths aged 20-49 (Shah, para.12). This impact transmits to the future wherethe society will have imbalanced settings (Iliffe, p.91). In conclusion the effects of HIV/AIDS inAfrica range from the health sector, households, the education sector, on children, enterprisesand the workplace, on the economy and on life expectancy. All the impacts are all negative andmuch should be done to stem and control this effects. The Solutions For every problem there must be a solution. In Africa AIDS has continued to weigh downon the many progresses made and with a combined effort the impacts of the virus can be reducedand tamed down. The fight against AIDS has been fought through a very renowned campaignknown as the ABC of AIDS. To African people this is the one solution that can help kick out thevirus from the continent. A is for abstinence, B is for being faithful and C is for using Condom.The ABC is another form of telling the people of Africa to change their sexual behaviors lestthey die (Hunter, p.39). Behavior change can be cultivated through numerous campaigns that will help peopleleave their sexual life and make it more responsible. Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT)has also been developed to make people know their HIV status (Hunter, p.41). This will makethem be more responsible in their actions in view of the fact that those who are not yet positivewill strive to remain negative while those who are positive will reduce re-infections tounsuspecting individuals. With such measures the rate of new infection will be drasticallyreduced and hence there will be only the old cases to deal with.
Surname 5 The culture that increases infections such as wife inheritance will be campaigned againstwhere they will have to abandon such practices and ensure if they have to then the necessaryprecautions are taken. Government also has a huge role to play in the fight against AIDS this is because theyhave to layout a strategy that make the people with and those without the virus protected so thatthey can be more productive (Hunter, p.53). This will include firstly cleaning up their own closetthrough eliminating corruption by removing all corrupt official who swindle money intended forthis worthy cause (Cichocki, para.5). This will play part to making sure everything planned goesaccording to plan with all the monies being put to purposeful use. In addition, the government has the mandate of working with NGO and other donororganization to provide care to the AIDS patients. This will include making the ARV available tothem so that they are able to live a longer fulfilling life (Cichocki, para.6). The medicationshould be made available to the people at very affordable prices or even for free so that thepeople may be productive and be able to support their families and continue earning a livelihood. Money should also be provided in order to take care of the affected children who areeither orphaned or infected by the disease. Such care will give hope to society in that the childrenwill be able to access proper care and facilities such as education which will make them buildtheir lives better in future (Cichocki, para.13). The widow left will also need care and support inthat they need to be assisted in providing for their families so that they can be able to live apositive life. Those infected will also need to be given medication since they may not be able topurchase drugs from their livelihoods.
Surname 6 If the government is able to care for the infected and affected they will help a lot in thecontaining of the situations since many people will live positively in life and will be able showother how to be positive when one is HIV positive. Mother to child transitions should also be minimized this will be through providingproper and adequate medical care to the mothers and giving the appropriate advice when themothers are pregnant (Hunter, p.68). Campaigns that will be targeted to pregnant mother to knowtheir status will enable discover the number of cases and their spouses and save the unborn childfrom contracting the HIV virus. Measures such as not breast feeding for the mothers with HIVwill be advised where they will be provided with the appropriate milk and dietary food to feedthe child (Hunter, p.92). The education system also needs to be restructured to cover the epidemic. The syllabusshould be all inclusive where children in school can learn what are HIV/AIDS and the effects ithas in the society. They will be able to get information from credible sources and not from theirpeers who may mislead them. They will be taught on how to stay safe and protect themselves.The use of condoms will be taught where the safe use will be advised to the most activegenerations (Hunter, p.107). Behavior change will be emphasized to the students where they willbe given the facts and figures for them to choose their destiny. Reducing the stigma on those who are positive will also need to be emphasized since thestigma may make them less productive in their workplaces. Setting up an organization that willbe involved in the monitoring of the situation i.e. the rates of new infections the progress of druguse, the number of orphans and other related statistics will help in having an organized approachto fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Surname 7 Work Cited:Cichocki, Mark R HIV and AIDS in Africa; The Epidemic Rages On. About.com Guide. http://aids.about.com/cs/aidsfactsheets/a/africa.htmFourie, Pieter. The Political Management of HIV and AIDS in South Africa: One burden too many?" Boston: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006Hunter, Susan. Black Death: AIDS in Africa, Boston: Palrave Macmillan 2003Iliffe, John. The African AIDS Epidemic: A History, New York: James Currey, 2006Shah, Anup. AIDS in Africa. Global Issues. November 29, 2009. http://www.globalissues.org/article/90/aids-in-africaUNAIDS, 2006. Report on the global AIDS Epidemic