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Why is HIV-AIDs so prominent an issue in post-apartheid South Africa Does religion offer solutions or exacerbate the problems - Essay Example

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Why is HIV-AIDs so prominent an issue in post-apartheid South Africa Does religion offer solutions or exacerbate the problems

However, the transition from apartheid to democracy was largely obscured by a HIV/AIDS crisis.1 A large number of the South African population have adopted traditionalists policies aimed at managing sexuality and thus controlling the spread of AIDS. These practices and policies are embedded in religious and ritualistic practices and beliefs that involve circumcising boys and testing girls for virginity prior to marriage.2 This research study analyses the traditionalist religious approach to controlling the spread of AIDS in post-apartheid South Africa and argues that rather than offer solutions, traditionalist religion exacerbates the problems. This research study is therefore divided into three main parts. The first part of the paper provides details of the HIV/AIDS crisis in post-apartheid South Africa and analyses why HIV/AIDS has reached epidemic proportions in post-apartheid South Africa. The second part of this research study defines and analyses traditionalist religion in post-apartheid South Africa. The third part of this paper analyses the role of religion, particularly the traditionalist religion in countering the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa. HIV/AIDS in Post-Apartheid South Africa HIV/AIDS ...
On average life expectancy in South African fell from 64 years of age in 1994 to 49 years of age in 2001.5 The United Nations reported that the number of children orphaned as a result of AIDS in South Africa by 2001 was 700,000. In 2002, the number of orphans as a result of AIDS was 120,000 and 150,000 in 2003.6 USAID reports that as of 2011, South Africa has the largest number of HIV/AIDS infections worldwide With the first reported case in 1982, the disease has reached epidemic proportions with 5.6 million South Africans living with either HIV or full blown AIDS. Moreover, South Africa’s infant and maternal mortality rate has increased steadily since the 1990s with AIDS largely attributed to the cause of infant and maternal mortality. AIDS is responsible for 42.5 per cent of maternal mortality and 35 per cent of infant mortality cases. While South Africa only represents 0.7 per cent of the global population, it is responsible for 28 per cent of the global HIV population.7 UNICEF’s report on HIV and AIDs in South Africa notes that “HIV infection rates” among adolescent girls are “on average five times higher” than “among boys”.8 According to UNICEF, “this is largely due to girls’ biological and social vulnerability”.9 For the most part women depend on men for economic support and usually do not have adequate education facilities and are therefore more prone to “poverty, sexual exploitation, coercion and rape” and are susceptible to work in the sex trade.10 Complicating matters for women, when they contract HIV or full blown AIDS they suffer heightened levels of gender discrimination. Women typically test ...Show more

Summary

South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy was accompanied by a new constitution that held out hope for liberties and rights unheard of during apartheid. However, the transition from apartheid to democracy was largely obscured by a HIV/AIDS crisis…
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Why is HIV-AIDs so prominent an issue in post-apartheid South Africa Does religion offer solutions or exacerbate the problems essay example
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