AIDS in Africa
Alyssa Pham & Allison van der Plas
What is HIV/AIDS?
AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a potentially life-threatening chronic condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV can be sexually transmitted, spread through infected blood, from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding. By damaging your immune system, HIV can weaken your body's ability to fight organisms that cause disease to the point when AIDS develop. Currently, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS but there are medications that can slow the progression of the disease. However, HIV/AIDS still continues to decimate populations in Africa, Haiti, and parts of Asia.
Out of the total 34 million HIV-positive people worldwide, 69 percent live in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is an estimate total of 23.8 million people infected and 91 percent of the world's children living in Africa. With these statistics you can realize it is more important to help them with medical assistance and care. The most prevalent countries are South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Democratic Republic of Congo, all with over 1 million people affected. Due to insufficient supply of antiretroviral drugs and care providers in 2010, 5 out of 10 million HIV- positive patients were able to receive treatment. Contraceptive use of condoms have nearly doubled in recent years because it is an inexpensive provision to offer to both HIV- positive and negative. However, the method is void when couples are hoping to conceive children or have already engaged with an infected person.