The Prevalence Of HIV/AIDS In Sub-Saharan Africa

Submitted By charlenestrunk30
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The Prevalence of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa

Human immunodeficiency virus or HIV has turned into a global epidemic since its discovery around 1930. HIV effectively destroys our immune system, and directly relates to the course of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. This virus is believed to have originated from African chimpanzees, and it muted to live within humans, causing HIV. Scientists can only estimate that about when the virus first emerged in the human population. However, they found antibodies in human blood to the virus that had been stored since 1959. “They did not document the first cases of AIDS until 1981” (Bauman, R.W., 2011, p.543).

Originating from African chimpanzees, “the spread of AIDS is sub-Saharan Africa is particularly horrific” (Bauman, R.W., 2011, p.544). Figure 1.1 shows the prevalence of HIV in Africa. I believe this is due to lack of funds, education, and proper healthcare.

Fig. 1.1 Map # 227 HIV Prevalence. People are very concerned about stigma surrounding AIDS if they test positive. A lot of that has to do with lack of education to the general public about the virus. According to Kalichman & Simbayi (2003), the South African government and international aid organizations are investing significant prevention resources in voluntary counseling and testing. The education being brought fourth with over 450 voluntary counseling centers, and over 800 councilors, it has been shown to decrease the high risk of sexual behavior. Therefor reducing the new number of HIV cases each year. However, due to lack of funding and volunteers, surveys done by the South African government have shown that only one in five people know about these education centers.

With an HIV infection, due to being immunocompromised, you are at a higher risk for co-infections. There are several common co-infections immunosuppressed patients are susceptible to. In South Africa, Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV) and tuberculosis are just two of the very wide spread co-infections in patients infected with HIV. HIV is transmitted sexually, as is HSV. Due to the poor living conditions in South Africa, and the way tuberculosis is spread, via droplets; tuberculosis will just run ramped in a setting such as this. According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family foundation (2013), tuberculosis is the leading cause of death in South Africa. South Africa has worked hard in trying to provide resources and funding to their people. Educational programs and better health care have had a great impact in certain areas that were once devastated from such diseases.

In conclusion, studies have shown a solid decrease in the numbers of new HIV infections. All related to an increase in funding, which in turn has allowed better education for the South