Death Stalks a Continent
You are a child in Africa, with little food, money, and shelter. You are living in a poor village and you have been a victim of the AIDS virus, or more specifically known as the acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The AIDS epidemic is becoming a major issue all over the world. Because people are becoming infected and having unprotected sex they therefore are passing the virus onto their partner. AIDS is an infection of the immune system that is caused by HIV.
The transmission of HIV can involve anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. Now although this is a rising issue in America, Africa is where the root of the problem lies (AIDS. gov). Time magazine has reported that 17 million have died since the epidemic began in in 1970 and 3. 3 million of them have been children. The magazine explains that the earliest case of AIDS dates back to 1959 in central Africa. A man walked into a hospital clinic to give blood for a study of blood diseases.
He walked away and was never heard from again. Doctor’s froze his sample and forgot about it. It wasn’t until a quarter century later, in the mid-1980’s that researchers studying the growing AIDS epidemic took another look at the blood and discovered it contained HIV, which is the virus that causes AIDS. This was the oldest specimen of the AIDS virus ever isolated and may be the answer to how the virus was transferred from animals, monkeys or chimpanzees, to humans(Time). Today the virus has spread rapidly and 22 million people are living with AIDS in Africa since the end of 2007.
In this past year 1. 5 have died in the Sub-Saharan African region according to Avert, which is an international AIDS charity. South Africa has the largest number of people living with HIV and AIDS. 20% of its adult population has the disease which is up from 13% in 1997. 42,000 children in the area have been orphaned and 250,000 people die each year from being infected(Time). Because of the lack of proper treatment, healthcare, and prevention, the AIDS epidemic is only going to get worse and the death toll will continue to rise within the next 10 years.
Average Life expectance is 47 years old but without the spreading of AIDS, which is erasing any progress in extending life expectancy, the average life expectancy could have been 62 years old (Avert). A reason why the epidemic is spreading so rapidly is because African men refuse to wear condoms, and they play a key role in preventing HIV infection . There has been an increase in condom use in recent years. Between 2001 and 2005, eight out of eleven countries in sub-Saharan Africa reported an increase in condom use. The distribution of condoms in sub-Saharan Africa has also increased. It was 4.
6 for every man in 2001 and has increased to 10 for every man (Avert). In many African countries, sexual relationships are dominated by men. Women and girls face discrimination, so are vulnerable to HIV infection. (Mbanya,Chungong, and Shu-Acquaye). At the end of 2007 it was estimated that out of the 30. 8 million adults worldwide living with HIV and AIDS, around half are women. Women are twice more likely to become infected with HIV through unprotected heterosexual intercourse than men. It is because women are less likely to be able to negotiate condom use because of men refusing to wear a condom (Time).