Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Research Paper on AIDS in Africa

Research Paper on AIDS in Africa

The father of your children works a few hundred miles away and you only see him a few times a year, all the while he sleeps around. Every act in sexual intercourse is a risk. As you go to your place of work you see teenagers tending to their households because their parents have already died and they are left with nothing.

At the next house, the wife is renowned a whore for asking her husband to use a condom and she’s thrown into the streets after vicious beatings. On the side of the pathway lies an elderly man in complete illness where he is just frowned upon and given nothing to mend his sorrow. All the people that you work with are desperately in need of doctors and clinics, but like the rest of the population, have no money or control. One third of the people that you work with are fatally ill and once the identity of their illness is realized to society, they are completely shunned by everyone. The political people and leaders of high-class look on as if nothing is wrong. This life scenario is completely parallel to that of the lives of people living in Africa. While economical problems throughout Africa have caused major problems in the society, the spread of Aids is what has brought the continent to complete chaos. AIDS spreads about Africa and for the most part; everyone tries to cope with the fact that they won’t be around much longer. AIDS is the silent death that erupts everyone’s life and sends him or her into only seeing life for its misfortunes. Because the children have to pay to go to school in Africa, parents constantly have to pull them out just so that they can have money to provide for themselves and the other sick children in their family. The remains of their only possession are sold to gain what little amounts of money there still is due to the economical situations there. In turn, when the parents have come face-to-face with death, their children are completely left with nothing. (McGeary, Johanna,


There are many different theories as to how Aids originated and how it was first transferred among people. It wasn’t even until 1982 that doctors realized how it could be distributed among people. In 1999,however, it was suggested that Aids came from SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Disorder). This is a virus similar to HIV, which was found to affect chimpanzees. Although this isn’t a completely sure theory, many people seem to believe that it is factual. People still might wonder how Aids could be transferred from an animal to a human also known as zoonosis. Scientists tend to believe that it was either from a human killing a chimpanzee and eating it for food, or through medical experiments of the monkeys. In January 2000, the results of a new study presented at the 7th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, suggested that the first case of HIV infection occurred around 1930 in West Africa. Dr Bette Korber of the Los Alamos National Laboratory carried out this study. The estimate of 1930 is based on a complicated computer model of HIV's evolution. Aids can be spread through sexual contact with an infected person, sharing needles, transfusions, and to babies from their mothers. Therefore, if a mother has Aids then most likely all her offspring will develop this as well. HIV is found in many concentrations or amounts in blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk, saliva and tears. (

In continuation, orphans in Africa are the ones that are completely feeling the full affects of this tragic disease. “ I think I will be in heaven before you, don’t you,” is the statement poor Sindi of South Africa said as she sits in an orphanage surrounded by other children about to experience the same fate as herself.(Dimbleby, Because her parent’s have already died and she was forced out of her school earlier, she has nothing but the ragged clothes on her body to call her own. Ninety Percent of the Thirteen million Aids orphans live in Africa. Despite the emotional and psychological problems encompassing the souls of these children, there is also the fact that everyone shuns them for their disease and won’t allow them to attend schools and everyday functions. The parents have no money, and in Southern Africa and places like Zambia the children have to pay to have education. What seems ironic to children in other parts of the world is that African orphans only desire is to be allowed to go to school. They actually envy those with better financial statuses that are able to go to a place of learning. (Ringa,

Although the children in Africa are the ones that seem to be fading out the fastest, the adults, especially female mothers, are the people feeling the full out blow of Aids. The mothers, knowing that they have no way to help their children when they die, are feeling as if life is just passing them by and they will have no way to leave anything behind when they pass away. Because the mothers themselves have no ways to support their children, the answer seems to turn to prostitution and any means of selling sex as a way of finance. Although they know the risks, reality tells them that they have to find money somehow and if they aren’t dying of Aids, starvation will kill them. Mable Banda quotes, "I must find something to do to support me which I will depend on, but if I'm not doing anything, I will continue until I die.” (Stillwagon, Even though the money is coming through the various sexual encounters, Aids is being spread even more rapidly, because there is clearly no other way to obtain money in the eyes of the Africans. No one wants to be tested for AIDS either, unless treatment is available.

If the choice is to know and get nothing, then most of the adults would rather not know. Even if the people are certain that they have AIDS, the know that they must keep it to themselves, which contributes to spread of the disease. The disgrace that society puts on any one person seems to be worse then the actual disease itself. Many of the people tell their families that they have “Tuberculosis” because they know even their own families will outcast them if they find out they have AIDS.

Looking at Aids in Africa on a world scale is quite disturbing and clearly shows that there is an adequate need for aid and assistance. The ferocious increase of the disease in places such as Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe could lead to dropping populations incredibly by the year 2003. It is known to the world that this is the first time countries have experienced substantial population decreases due to disease since the Black Death struck Europe in the 1300s. In the event of the Black Death, an estimated 25 million died and it took until the start of the 16th century before the population was back to its original state. Karen Stanecki described the comparison of these two events when she said that by 2003, Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe will be experiencing negative population growth of one to three percent. ( Most likely it would take fifty years for the population to come back to its population in recovery. Another factor that is affecting the world is the fact that India is also going down the same path as the Africans. It too has reached a significant loss of people due to Aids and will make an impact on Asia and its population as well. Valid research estimates put the number of HIV-infected Indians at near five million.

Although, valuable work is being done to divert adults off the streets with income generating programs it still isn’t enough. Because the efforts to pull back the epidemic in Africa alone can’t keep up with Aids itself a bigger effort is need if the response is to catch up. The newest idea and answer comes from the International Partnership Against Aids in Africa. This extraordinary partnership is a coalition that works under the leadership of the African countries to save and secure numerous lives. This is a combination of African governments, donors, the United Nations, and the private and community sectors. It is said that in international development there has never before been such a multi-sectoral group joined forces to fight a single disease. New research and realizations about the disease has led some African governments to add help by attempting to have a quality national leadership in action. The United Nations are working to make everyone in the world aware of the problems so that financial support and programs can reach the countries on a personal level. Donors, like the United Nations, are providing financial help and input into the Partnership. Finally, the community sector is working to ensure ownership of the Partnership inside the local civil society and to fortify country and regional networks. (

The main mission and goal of the Partnership is to reduce the n umber of new HIV infections in Africa over the next decade, promote care for those who suffer from the virus, and to make society aware of the problem in order to halt the advance of Aids. This is all kept at the country level and supports the insightful plans to fight AIDS, and maintain what we already know to work. Through this we can replicate the successes that we have already seen transpired and use it to make improvements in the lives of Africans.

After looking at the different situations of the people and their families in Africa, it is made certain of their poor states of being due to AIDS. Although there are advances and things in order to help soothe the difficulties, the battle still isn’t over. It is going to take time and patience to make an impact on the AIDS situation. While there has been many negative and sorrowful accounts from children and people living in Africa, there has also been an abundance of optimistic views from AIDS survivors. One of the ladies quoted, “ The power to defeat the spread of HIV/AIDS lies in our partnership as youth, as women and men, as business people, as workers; all of us.” “Nothing can prevent infection except our own behavior,” said Thabo Mbeki, South Africa’s vice president in Declaration against the disease in October 1998. (

Despite the optimism, over five million people are infected with AIDS and it kills over six hundred people everyday. A continuous struggle is surpassing the lives of these people and won’t end without major work from Africans and outside countries.

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