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Comparative Study: High prevalence of HIV late diagnosis among African communities aged 30-55 in the United Kingdom and Sub Saharan Africa.
Pages 5 (1255 words)
For decades now researchers have been curious about the high prevalence of late HIV diagnosis in African communities in both the United Kingdom and Sub-Saharan Africa. Recent reports show that 42% of Africans in the UK are diagnosed late, thereby missing out on the many benefits…
What can be done to reduce these numbers, improve and speed up diagnoses? And how we reconcile the fact that in some case AIDS policy in sub-Saharan Africa is more advanced than in the United Kingdom? All these questions will be addressed in this thesis.
There are approximately 450,000 African living in the UK. According to the Health Protection Agency, one in twenty is infected with HIV. These figure on their own, while certainly cause for concern, are manageable. What makes the situation more dire however is that many of these people do not know they have HIV and will not find out until the later stages of the virus. This means that they will be more likely to transmit it. It also means their quality of life will be much lower had they sought treatment during the early stages of the virus. A survey in 2008 by the University of Portsmouth of 4,000 Africans in the UK, showed that as many as a third of them said “they had no reason to suspect they had HIV said they had no control over whether or not they became infected, and among those with diagnosed HIV, a quarter said they lacked the ability to make sure they did not pass it to their partners.”1 The study also showed that cultural factors and beliefs may in part play a role in these perceptions. A fear about the being deported for having HIV often contributed to individual’s reticence.
As the most heavily infected region in the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is ground zero for HIV detection. The lessons coming out of this calamitous situation are very important not only to prolonging and improving the lives of HIV-infected people in Africa but for others around the world. Those countries in Africa that have managed to control their epidemics—for example Senegal and Uganda—have done this through intensive prevention campaigns. Public education has gone hand in hand with Voluntary Counselling & Testing (VCT). The rise of rapid testing and the ease of the ...
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