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Geographical Impact of AIDS on Zimbabwe

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What are the geographical consequences of AIDS in Zimbabwe? Madli Rohtla Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is defined as a retrovirus that makes our immune system fail. HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk and not, according to a common misbelief, through saliva. This transmission can happen in the form of anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypdermic needles or exchange between a mother and a baby during pregnancthe frequncy of their occrrence, it is very hard to put an end to the spreading of this virus. HIV causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Virus (AIDS), the deadliest pandemic of the 20th century that was only discovered and named 25 years ago. AIDS is considered as a global problem. It started off in a gay community in San Francisco, US and spread quickly all over the world, especially in the English-speaking countries such as Australia and the UK. By the year 1995, there was information on HIV cases in every country in the world. ...read more.


It has caused the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe to drop from 56 to 37 - that is nearly 20 years. People die in their best working years, which has a weakening effect on the country's economy. People in the rural areas who fall ill or take care of ill family members put their children to work on the farms. Usually they stop selling their products and develop subsistence farms. This means practically no income and surviving totally on one's own. What is more, a large percentage of doctors and teachers die of AIDS. That causes increase in the country's literacy level and damages the availability of (free) medical help. Also, many people with medical education choose to leave the country, because it's there's a huge chance of getting infected and they don't find the salaries satisfactory. As a result, hospitals lack workforce and patients won't get proper treatment. Due to limited opportunities in the country, people (usually men) go to bigger cities to find work and support their families. ...read more.


There's also a program that is being led by people who help HIV-positive families cope with the disease. Specially trained counsellors, called "care givers," visit the families and teach them about the basic health and nutritional needs of those living with AIDS. The target group of all AIDS prevention campaigns is actually young people between the age of 15 and 24. It used to be a taboo in the Zimbabwean society to talk about sex, but now discussions and giving sex education are actually being encouraged and approved of. In conclusion, the situation is past its negative peak in Zimbabwe. As long as international help is provided in cooperation with government policies and educational and medical progress, a decline should occur in the spreading of AIDS. It will take so much more to put an end to AIDS in Africa in terms of time and finances, but some goals have already been accomplished. And by that I don't mean simply government and their actions, but also the people and their mentality. Links: http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/africa/9903/12/zimbabwe.aids/index.html http://www.avert.org/aids-zimbabwe.htm ...read more.

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