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HIV/AIDs in the UK

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HIV/AIDs in the United Kingdom An MEDC case study by Daisy Atkin, IB1 HIV/AIDs in the United Kingdom HIV/AIDs is one of the most deathly diseases in the United Kingdom today. The North-West of The United Kingdom is particularly badly affected. Since the virus was discovered in the 1980s, over 23,000 people have died from AIDs alone. It is estimated that there are around 73,000 people living with HIV in the United Kingdom today. That's a 1:1000 figure. Although this is not as high as say, Sub-Saharan Africa, it's still a shocking figure for an MEDC.1 This shocking amount can be divided into three significant groups - homosexuals, drug users and people receiving blood transfusions, mainly hemophiliacs. Homosexual relations are estimated to have left 39,000 people currently with the virus. Drug users are over 5,000 of the people with the virus, and blood transfusion patients make up just under 2,000 people living with the virus. The remaining amount of people living with the virus are children who inherited it from their parents, heterosexuals and people who got the virus due to wound contact when kissing/practicing first aid etc. ...read more.


As the disease used to be associated mainly with homosexuals, drug users and sex workers, you can only imagine the horrific abuse HIV/AIDs patients may suffer, even if the abuse is (as is often the case) incorrect.2 Another problem that the NHS has, coping with HIV/AIDs patients is not the limited amount of drugs - as would be the case in an LEDC, but the expense and abundance of drugs. The problem is that after a while, an HIV/AIDs patient often becomes resistant to the given drugs. This means that the NHS needs to find a new drug for the patient, one that they are not resistant to. Then extra drugs need to be given to counterbalance the negative side-effects of drugs, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness and loss of consciousness. This, in effect, means that any one individual may be taking up to twenty pills a day, in a cocktail of chemicals. It's not the lack of drugs that causes problems in MEDCs, it's the fact that we constantly have to develop new ones to fight the disease, and this puts a great strain on the economy of a country. ...read more.


You can see that the band of 20-29 year old in the United Kingdom - mainly the children who would have contracted HIV/AIDs in the 80s and 90s is significantly smaller than the bands above and below it. As a result of this, you can foreshadow a drop in an elderly population for the United Kingdom, as well as fewer children, as many HIV/AIDs patients do not wish to have children out of concern of them contracting the virus. There are, however, now ways of preserving sperm, such as 'sperm washing' that can ensure children that are given birth to are not contaminated with the virus. In conclusion, as the United Kingdom my choice of affected region, I found it interesting to look at. Whereas many people will have chosen LEDCs, I find it interesting and challenging to look at an unexpected place that has an HIV/AIDs problem. We may not have problems like LEDCs, but some of them are similar, and the difference(s) between the problems is highly interesting to look at. Hopefully, by charity funding and government support, we can help to bring the pandemic under control and eventually eradicate the disease altogether. ...read more.

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