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AIDS Epidemic in Africa - Essay Example

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AIDS Epidemic in Africa

This is due to the intense effort of government and non-government organizations to push large-scale media and education prevention programs since the mid eighties. Resulting in a drop of infection from 14% of the population in the early 1990's to 8% in 2000 (Feachem 2007:Internet).
Africa is a beautiful continent with its many countries, animals and diversity. Despite these positive aspects, Africa is suffering from one of the world's worst AIDS epidemics. Every Saturday, nearby cemeteries are busy with the arrival of people who have died from AIDS. It is said that in South Africa, one of every ten people has AIDS. Some 17 million people in Africa have died representing almost 80% of AIDS deaths worldwide. This is the equivalent of the combined populations of New York City and Los Angeles. There is a conspiracy of silence fuelling the spread of HIV in Africa. For example, in Johannesburg, it has one of the fastest growing infection rates for around. AIDS is now South Africa's leading cause of death. By the year 2010, HIV prevalence in adults is projected to reach 25% of the total population. South Africa is projected to have the highest AIDS death rate until 2015. At that point, the population will have decreased to the point that the death rate will no longer be as high as in other areas.
Demographics show that those most affected by AIDS are women and children. African women and children have been particularly hard hit by AIDS. When it comes to sex in Africa, the man is always in charge. Girls and women are often forced to have sex and are punished if they resist. There is a belief in some areas that having sex with a virgin can cure an infected man. As a result, 12-year-old girls become infected. Men rarely know they have AIDS, because males widely refuse testing until they fall ill. Many men who think they may have AIDS just embrace it as if nothing is wrong until they get sick. They take the attitude that "I'm already infected; I can sleep around because I can't get it again." Meanwhile, they may be passing on the infection to unsuspecting African women. The women then unknowingly pass it on to their children.
Currently there is much stigma attached to the use of condoms and to the subject of AIDS. Common myths, fear of social reprisal and old traditions inhibit much of the populations from using condoms (Dossier, 2005). Condoms are seen by many in Africa as the white man's means of keeping the black population down (Dossier, 2005). If condoms are requested in personal sex situations it is seen as a violation of trust and intimacy. In brothels the lure of financial gain and fear of client refusal, added of course to the ever-present fear of physical abuse from clients, are the primary reasons for not using condoms (Health Transition Centre, 2004). Success of these measures could be seen within two years, with STD rates in brothels falling steeply, and HIV prevalence among army recruits declined by two thirds (Health Transition Centre, 2004).

Expected Prospective Response Against aids in Africa
Nudging government along, complementing and sometimes substituting for official programmes, have been efforts by mission hospitals, churches, NGOs, community-based organisations and concerned individuals. This response has reflected a genuine ...Show more

Summary

Africa is the worst hit continent in the world by HIV/AIDS. Botswana has 35.8% of it's adult population infected. South Africa comes second with 19.9% infected with HIV. Zimbabwe life expectancy has dropped from 65 to 43 years as a direct result of HIV/AIDS…
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AIDS Epidemic in Africa essay example
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