HIV/AIDS in Africa
HIV/AIDS has become a major health concern all over Africa, and it has become a threat to the lives of African people. HIV/AIDS is now regarded as one of the top causes of death in Africa.
A Few Reasons Why AIDS Is So Widespread In Africa:
Statistics show that cases in Africa comprise 70% of all AIDS-affected people of the world. This number is obviously a serious cause of concern. There are many significant factors that cause the spread HIV in Africa.
First of all, many African countries are themselves responsible, because they don’t believe in using safe sex products, such as condoms. The Pope and some Muslim leaders have taken steps against the use of these products. Not only that, some of these leaders banned using condoms in their community.
Furthermore, medicines and medical facilities are not available in many African countries and most of the people in these areas depend on folk treatment rather than modern medicine. Moreover, they are often suspicious of modern medicines and may believe that contraceptives are used to reduce the population.
On the other hand, eastern and central Africa tend to be more liberal towards extramarital sexual activities compared to the countries to the north and in the Horn of Africa. This liberal attitude towards sex increases the risk of HIV transmission.
Polygamous customs and a commercial sex trade are still prevalent in southern Africa, which is another cause of HIV transmission.
The Consequences of AIDS in Africa:
AIDS not only hampers the health sector, it also affects social, political, and household activities.
Some African countries have taken initiative in overcoming this epidemic. They are aware that using condoms plays an important role in hindering HIV transmission. Therefore, many countries have arranged national campaigns to encourage people to protect themselves from HIV/AIDS.
South Africa, in particular, aims to overcome this epidemic. They have pledged to make significant strides in reducing the affected rate. By 2016, they hope to give away ARV treatment to the 80% of AIDS affected people in the country. In the mid-2011, the number of people using antiretroviral treatment had increased to 1.79 million, up from 47,000 in 2006. The death rate had also been reduced to 20% in 2010. This has happened mostly because of the increased use of antiretroviral medications.
Conditions of Africa:
There are insufficient health workers and doctors to deal with the number of AIDS patients and hospitals and clinics are unable to cope with this problem. A charitable organization, Avert, has written that that HIV/AIDS patients occupy nearly half of all hospital beds.
The African health care system has also been the victim of brain drain; many of the most qualified doctors and nurses have immigrated to developed countries to better their own futures. It has been found that there are more Malawian doctors working at Manchester University than in all of Malawi.
The effects of AIDS differ between the various regions of Africa. North Africa and the Horn of Africa are less affected than the other parts of Africa. This is largely because the majority Muslim population in those areas, who are influenced by Islamic morals and values that reject extramarital sex. Southern Africa is the region most affected by HIV/AIDS in the world.