AIDS In Africa

By Ian Sandry & Sam Corey

What is AIDS?

AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency virus, is the advanced form of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and reduces the white blood cell count. After the white cell count falls below 200, HIV becomes AIDS. The HIV (virus) is transmitted by sexual intercourse, mixing of blood, from mother to child, and by sharing needles. It's impossible to die from HIV or AIDS, but since they damage the immune system, you will get sick and infected much more easily and it damages you much more, meaning things such as the common cold can be life threatening.

AIDS in Africa

Africa, while only housing around 16% of the world's population, it has 69% of it's HIV/AIDS infected population. The HIV/AIDS virus originates from a type of a chimpanzee in West Africa, where the native tribes hunted and ate them. The chimpanzee, SIV, modified to become HIV, and was contracted by the natives. HIV spread quickly through Africa because it was not understood, and they didn't take precautions to stop it whilst doing the do.

Cures/Precautions Against AIDS

While there is no actually cure, it can be kept in HIV stage with modern medicine. Unfortunately, African countries have low GDPs so they can't afford the medication. In America and other industrial countries, people can survive for a very long time with HIV. Some precautions that can be taken are: wearing a condom, not doing the do, and not sharing needles or blood.