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The Global Pandemic: The Social and Economic Impact of Aids

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Introduction

Table of Contents Introduction......................................................................................... 2 Impacts on Water supply......................................................................... 3 Economic impacts on Agriculture............................................................... 3 The mapping of the geography of Aids in the UK overtime (FIG 1)............ 3 Agriculture's Contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of a number of Countries 4 (FIG 2) Reduction in Marketed Output Due to AIDS Deaths in Zimbabwe (FIG 3)........... 4 Economic impacts on Industry .................................................................. 4 Impacts on Health. ................................................................................. 5 The Aids Tax (Fig 4) ................................................................................. 5 Impacts on Transport & Mining................................................................. 6 Positive Economic Impacts ...................................................................... 6 Funeral and Health Care Expenditures (FIG 5)............................................. 6 Negative Social Impacts ........................................................................... 7 The Usage of Hospital Beds (FIG 6)..................................................... 7 Indirect Positive Affects on Society............................................................... 8 Population Growth Projection's with and without Aids(FIG 7).................. 9 Conclusion............................................................................................. 10 Bibliography.......................................................................................... 11 The Global Pandemic: The Social and Economic Impact of Aids "Not since syphilis among the Spanish, plague among the French, tuberculosis among the Eskimos, and smallpox among the American Indians has there been the threat of such a scourge" Journal of the American Medical Association, 1985 Introduction Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a disease that is caused due to the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which suppresses the immune system. The first cases were diagnosed in Sub Saharan Africa in the 1980's. It is presumed that the virus is a variant of a retrovirus found in apes that mutated to form a strand capable of affecting human beings. There are two methods of its transmission namely horizontal and vertical. Horizontal transmission is though sexual contact, transmission of blood and body fluids through infected needles used by intravenous drug addicts and blood transfusions. Vertical transmission is the spread of the virus from a mother to a fetus through the placenta, at childbirth, and by breast feeding. After the virus enters the human body, there is a variable incubation period when the virus replicates. During this period the infected person is symptom free. ...read more.

Middle

It was found that 68 percent of them had sexual intercourse during the most recent trip and 25 percent had sex every night they were away (Kwesigabo pg 55). This is a very disturbing statistic especially when we think about the importance these people play in the transport industry. The deaths of a few of these experienced workers can lead to a collapse in the transportation system in these developing countries. This scenario repeats itself in the mining industry workers are forced to live apart from their families for extended periods of time. They often resort to having sex with HIV infected prostitutes. Most of them do not use protection and contract the disease. They then spread that infection to their spouses and communities when they return home. Qualified mining supervisors can be very difficult to replace. As a result, AIDS epidemic can seriously threaten mine production. Positive Economic Impacts Despite the large number of negative impacts of Aids there are some indirect positive impacts of Aids. Since Aids affects a relatively young portion of the population usually what happens is that patients contribute to pension funds but die before they are able to withdraw the money. This leaves the government with a large surplus of money to spend on other social institutions. In 1999 alone, a study showed, that an average of 4.3 years in shortened life expectancy saved the Czechs $30 million of reduced costs for pensions and housing and health care for the elderly (Patrick, 889). Negative Social Impacts Aids has a large and extensive impacts on a social system of a country. Perhaps one of the largest institutions affected by Aids is the health institution. This is due to the large drain on resources by the disease. A recent study in Ethiopia estimated that the cost of hospital care for AIDS patients ranged from 425 to 3140 Birr during the course of the illness(CMAJ JAMC Vol. ...read more.

Conclusion

With more teenagers using condoms there will be a great reduction in the number of abortions which is the cause of a large number of social problems. Sexual education may implicitly lead to the acceptance of homo sexuality into the fabrics of society. In North America Aids is mainly explained as a phenomenon amongst homosexuals. However, this information may be conveyed without "negative values" being taught to the young students. Although the thought of leading a homosexual lifestyle is rejected due to the spread of disease it may lead to the tolerance of homosexuals in society. Therefore it is believed that not only will sex education teach teenagers how the Aids virus is transmitted but teaches them how to handle situations dealing with sexual assault and how to cope with an STD if contracted but will teach them to tolerate homo sexuality. Conclusion It is clear that Aids has a large impact on the social and economic layers in society. Aids has brought up a number of issues that need our immediate attention. The Aid's pandemic is spreading exponentially but a solution is not in sight. The solutions that are proposed are either tackling the problem from a social point of view or from a medical point of view. Both are viable solutions but both are not permanent solutions. The social impacts of Aids are apparent like the declining population and the breakdown in the family structure leaving many children as orphans. The economic impacts are very devastating with a demand for increased healthcare and death of a family's breadwinner. Upon examining the negative social and economic impacts of Aids and weighing them with the positive side effects of Aids it can be concluded that Aids overall has more of a negative impact with lasting impacts. It has lead to genocide, broken up families, and ruined economies. The Aids crisis is an issues that has to be solved soon otherwise lives will continue to be lost and countries will be unable to develop. ...read more.

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