An Overview of HIV/AIDS in Southern Africa

1 03 2013

UNAIDS has expressed the belief that the incidence rate (new infections) peaked in the late 1990s and has stabilised in many countries in the world. This phenomenon can be attributed to prevention programmes and changes in behaviour.

The proportion of people of people living with HIV has also levelled off. However the numbers of people living with HIV have continues to rise, due to population growth and the life-prolonging effects of antiretroviral therapy.

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst affected region in the world.earth_planet

Declines in the national HIV prevalence in some sub-Saharan African countries are not strong enough or widespread enough to diminish the epidemic’s overall impact on this region.

Women in sub-Saharan Africa bear a disproportionate part of the AIDS burden. Not only are they more likely than men to be infected with HIV, but also in most countries they are also more likely to be the ones caring for people living with HIV.

In South Africa the very high incidence of rape is fuelling the transmission of the virus. We need stronger action and reaction from our law inforcement and the citizens to curb this crime.

Many men are moving to the cities in search of work and leaving their wives and children behind in rural areas. This leads to the use of prostitutes or involvement of girl friends in the cities. Until this situation is changed or the pattern of behaviour is changed, battle with HIV/AIDS will continue.

South Africa also has the added scourge that drug addicts are using antiretroviral drugs to add to their drug cocktails for heightened effect. They obtain the antiretroviral drugs mainly by stealing them from HIV patients. The resultant effect of this crime leads to the inadequate administration of the medication and possible drug resistance.4retroviral

Until the law enforcement agencies get to grips with this crime the situation can only deteriorate.

Recent statistics in South Africa show a decline in numbers, but the overall incidence of HIV is still unacceptably high.

Even if you reside in an area which has stabilized you can never let your guard down.

HIV is still with us. We have not found a cure so the HI virus lives on.

©Teresa Denton




2 responses

1 03 2013
Twinned Citiesill van der Walt

Your writing really makes for a bird’s-eye view of the epidemic. I had to do a double-take on the 2nd paragraph… a little unclear at first. It may be an interesting exercise for you to review what is being said to high school students in schools in their Life Orientation classes… How much time is spent there? Are they informing girls of their rights in the case of rape? etc. That’s where the change becomes possible.

2 03 2013
Teresa Denton

Only teachers can take the message of HIV/AIDS into classrooms. If practising or retired teachers alert other teachers to written reports of HIV we can get the message to the youth.

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