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Examine the causes of high HIV/AIDS rates in Southern Africa and their economic effects. Evaluate the effectiveness of both preventative and palliative treatments.

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Introduction

Examine the causes of high HIV/AIDS rates in Southern Africa and their economic effects. Evaluate the effectiveness of both preventative and palliative treatments. Human Immunodeficiency Virus, infamously known worldwide as HIV, is a communicable disease that causes the progressive failure of the immune system within human beings. The developed form of HIV, Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, known as HIV/AIDS, and like its less harmful counterpart, it is currently an incurable disease. There is much speculation to how HIV came into existence, but of what is know, there are four major modes of transmission: sexual intercourse (unsafe sex), breast milk, contaminated needles and perinatal transmission. In contrast to popular belief, HIV/AIDS does not kill, however it is a contributing factor. The failure of the immune system allows curable diseases to become lethal, known as opportunistic infections. Fortunately, there are several preventative measures one can take, such as the use of contraception, celibacy, proper education and honesty in a relationship. ...read more.

Middle

Another cause of the rapid infection rate is the low female status and structure of the economy. Many woman are raped, which is an involuntary transmission, but some woman are forced into prostitution as a way to quickly raise finance. It is here that the cycle of deprivation is relevant. If an individual contracts HIV, he or she can only work for few years until they are physically confined to basic tasks. The illness causes an immediate lack of income, as they cannot work and then becomes socially excluded, and eventually forgotten (it is a taboo in most countries to speak of HIV in public and there is stigma attached to those who are infected). With no income, meaning no money for ARV?s (if they are that they exist) they most likely die within a few years of contraction of the disease, most likely being claimed by pneumonia or tuberculosis. ...read more.

Conclusion

This doesn?t guarantee a chance of survival; however it may allow people to live a normal life, as well as extending their life span for a while. As of a few weeks ago, The EU are making a deal with the Indian Government that actually prevents them mass producing generic ARV?s, with the idea that they are doing harm to the people of Africa. However, these generic drugs actually reduce the price of ARV?s significantly in Southern Africa, from a massive R10,000 to a low R150 a month. So in terms of effectiveness of both palliative and preventative care, preventative care would be the better option. Approximately 1.85 million died last year of HIV,( this is an estimation as due to cultural factors(shame), many people do not get tested and there many unconfirmed sufferers), and this is WITH the inclusion of cheap, generic ARV?s, so without the drugs at a cheap, this death toll regarding HIV/AIDS is likely to rise exponentially. The best option for the future is to strongly advertise and educate the people of Southern Africa about contraception and celibacy. Bryan Ejaife ...read more.

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