Aids And Africa
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This site will give you an idea of the scale of the African AIDS epidemic. I say an idea as the figures needed to describe the amount of infections, orphans, and ultimately deaths due to the crisis cannot be put into words or even images. To give you a quick idea of the scale of the problem in Africa, a person die approximately every 13 seconds from the killer disease. So in the 5 mins you’ve taken to make a yourself a warm drink and returned to this screen, another 23 people have died. Words and charts will never connect with what a human life is really all about. Each of these victims are part of a family, with parents, or children. As I say  it gives you an idea, however we will never be able to grasp the scale of the suffering and lives lost to this disease.

Aids In Africa

HIV AIDS In Africa

To give you some basic figures sub-Saharan Africa contains little more than 10% of the world’s population, but over 70% of the worlds AIDS cases are in this continent. The southern country of Botswana is the worst affected area with 33.8% of people between the ages of 15 and 49 carry the deadly disease. The level of illnesses is horrific, and the case is made much more worse by the amount of other common diseases such as malaria, measles, tuberculosis, diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections, and other illnesses, which are the other causes of death.

 

If we look back at the history of AIDS in Africa to 30 years ago it was virtually non existent. The numbers started to grow in the 1980’s, with massive a outbreak, and steep increase in the 1990’s. In the year 2000 just in Sub Saharan Africa the figures of people living with HIV were a staggering 25 million. After that the figure has grown to take the percentage of the population which are sufferers even further. In the year 2009 the death toll was about 1.3 million from AIDS alone in sub-Saharan Africa, and a further reported 1.8 million people became infected with the HIV virus that same year. Since the start of the epidemic 14.8 million children have lost a parent or both parents to the deadly virus.

 

Aids In Africa Facts

 

HIV and AIDS are both having a detrimental impact on many aspects of the Africans way of life. These facts point out some of the major effects that the epidemic is having;

 

The reduction of life expectancy- For a long time in parts of southern Africa life expectancy was increasing. Over the past 3 decades the disease has reversed all those decades of increased life expectancy. The reported average expectance of a life in the sub Saharan for both sexes is 52 years of age, and in the worst affected areas average life expectancy has dropped below the age of 51. There are 6 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and of these 5 of them now have a life expectancy lower than it was in the 1970’s, so over 40 years of progress in increased life expectancy wiped away, directly by the virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

      Mother and child.

Both AIDS victims

The effect on households and the family- Don’t forget these people are part of a family. Ok losing a family member is hard enough,  but the effect it has on the whole household can be very severe, especially if a family loses the main income earner. Then you have a member of the family that is ill meaning they can’t work plus the family member that has to take care of them. Many couples are infected together. one of the two is then left behind, to care for a child, which will then become an orphan when the single parent is taken by the disease. The orphans are often cared for by members of the extended family.

 

The effect on productivity- As these family members are unable to work due to illness, it has a knock on effect to the economy  as there is now less production resulting in a downturn in social progression, and produces a downturn in economic activity. The majority of workers are between the ages of 16 and 50 which are prime working years, but also the age group that are most effected. Employers then struggle to get new staff to replace the ones that have become too ill to work. These are important people working in schools factories, hospitals, that are needed to sustain the economy.

 

The effect on healthcare- In all affected countries there is great demand on the healthcare system. As the epedemic is forever developing, the demand for treatment for the cases rises, also in-line with the number of medical workers affected.

 

The effect on schools. As many children are born HIV positive, the schools are greatly affected. This is a great problem as schools are part of the solution to a recovering future. Through education and development, the number of cases can be reduced.

 

The effect on economic growth and development- The epidemic has seriously affected Africa’s economy and development over the past few decades, and in turn due the points mentioned above it’s really hindered their ability to cope, making it too difficult to imagine.