-Increased use of natural resources:
As AIDS-affected rural households lose salary earners and agricultural labor, many are turning to natural resources as a safety net. Hunting, fishing and charcoal making increase as families seek alternative livelihoods.
More water, firewood and medicinal plants are consumed by households caring for the sick and timber logging has accelerated in many areas to supply the growing coffin industry.
-Diversion of conservation funds for AID costs:
Conservation organisations having to cover costs of medical expenses, sick leave and funeral costs.
This reduces budget available for conservation work to protect the environment.
Social Impacts of HIV/AIDS
- At the height of the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2000, average life expectancy stagnated at 49.5 years. In 2006, it was reported that in many countries, HIV and AIDS had wiped 20 years off life expectancy.
- Many families have lost their chief income earners, who have died, or are too sick to work. This puts a heavy financial burden on families who have to pay ever increasing medical costs, forcing many into poverty.
- 17.3 million children have now been orphaned by the epidemic globally, 88 percent of this number, in this region.
- When the income earners become too sick to work or simply die, children can be forced to abandon their education, and in some cases, women may turn to sex work as a source of income, increasing the risk of HIV transmission.
- At the same time, the epidemic can create food insecurity and malnutrition by increasing medical costs and reducing the productivity of the workforce.
- In sub-Saharan Africa, HIV was putting a serious strain on hospital resources. In 2006, people with HIV-related illnesses were occupying more than 50 percent of all hospital beds in the region.
- In the Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as an increasing demand for HIV services, there is a shortage of HIV and AIDS-related training and resources.
- Many are unable to afford school fees and other such expenses – this is particularly a problem among children who have lost their parents (the income earners) to HIV and AIDS. Central African Republic, it was reported that school enrolment fell by 25-30 percent.
- More teachers die of HIV and AIDS related illnesses than are being trained. In 2007, the epidemic claimed the lives of 2000 teachers in Zambia.
- The vast majority of people living with HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa are aged between 15-49 - in the prime of their working lives. Employers, schools and the healthcare sector are regularly training staff to replace those who become too ill to work.
Economic Impacts of HIV/AIDS
However, the HIV and AIDS epidemic is thought to have reduced economic growth by 1 percent annually in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa. This is due mainly to people leaving the workforce because of illness as well as lower overall productivity, leading to a fall in economic output and fewer tax receipts.
Economic development in this region depends much upon the ability of these countries to diversify their industrial base, expand exports and attract foreign investment. By increasing labour costs and reducing profits, the epidemic limits the ability of countries to attract industry and investment.
A lower labour force;
Lower labour productivity through absenteeism and illness;
Cost pressures for companies through benefit payments and replacement costs;
Lower labour income, as employees bear some of the AIDS-related costs;
Lower population translating into lower expenditure;
Increased private sector demand for health services;
Higher government expenditure on health services.
12. UN political declaration on HIV/AIDS
2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS set down a list of 10 targets with goals to be met by 2015.
10 Targets are:
1. Reduce sexual transmission of HIV by 50%
2. Halve the transmission of HIV among people who inject…