Final the Relationship Between Hiv and Aids and Poverty
BACHELOR OF SOCIAL SCIENCES HONOURS DEGREE IN DEVELOPMENT STUDIES [BLOCK RELEASE 2. 2]FACULTY : HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCESDEPARTMENT : DEVELOPMENT STUDIES STUDENT ‘NAME : EMMANUEL R MARABUKA STUDENT’ ID NUMBER : L0110064TMODULE NAME : HIV AND AIDS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA LECTURER :MR D.
NYATHIDUE DATE : 01 MARCH 2013EMAIL ADDRESS : [email protected]
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com QUESTION : The relationship between HIV and AIDS and Poverty is synergistic and symmetrical in nature”. Comment.  | HIV and AIDS are issues of concern worldwide they are associated by many implications which affect negatively in human lives. HIV and AIDS are mainly spread through unprotected sex with an infected person. HIV weakens the antibodies which are responsible for fighting diseases.
Therefore once the white blood cells are damaged by virus it cannot resist diseases result a person into many opportunistic infections at this stage a person will have AIDS. Therefore for now HIV and AIDS have no cure yet. Therefore, HIV and AIDS and poverty are synergistic and symmetrical in nature. Meaning to say the impacts of HIV and AIDS and poverty complement each other in destroying human’s well being. Also they have same power or they are parallel in destroying human lives. However this essay seeks to comment on the notion that, the relationship of between HIV and AIDS and poverty is synergistic and symmetrical in nature.
According to Mwambete and Justin-Temu (2011) poverty is defined as a state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions. The World Bank defines poverty as “the inability to attain a minimum standard of living” and produced a “universal poverty line”, which was “consumption-based” and comprised of two elements: “the expenditure necessary to buy a minimum standard of nutrition and other basic necessities and a further amount that varies from country to country, reflecting the cost of participating in everyday life of society.
Poverty can be caused by unemployment, low education, deprivation and homelessness. Therefore, HIV and poverty reinforce each other, with poor, vulnerable and powerless women being a significant driver of the disease while also bearing the burden of its impact (Scott et al 2011) Poverty, characterized by limited human and monetary resources, is therefore portrayed as a risk factor to HIV/AIDS. Moreover, HIV/AIDS deepens poverty and increases inequalities at every level, household, community, regional and sectoral.
Poverty pervades subgroups such as the unemployed and migrants. As a result of the condition of poverty, people become more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, since these are the people who have less access to the necessary facilities to prevent or treat HIV Scott (2011). This means poor people have less access to HIV/AIDS treatment which increases the progression of AIDS. HIV HIV/AIDS appears to interact strongly with poverty and this interaction increases the depth of vulnerability of those households already vulnerable to shocks (Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager 2005).
Poverty is associated with vulnerability to severe diseases like HIV, through its effects on delaying access to health care and inhibiting treatment adherence (Bates et al, cited in Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager 2005). The costs incurred when seeking diagnosis and treatment for HIV/AIDS are common causes of delays in accessing health care especially for the poor. Poor households may not necessarily have the financial resources to seek help from health centres, nor food security to enable members to adhere to their treatment.
It should be emphasised that poor people infected with HIV are considerably more likely to become sick and die faster than the non-poor since they are likely to be malnourished, in poor health, and lacking in health attention and medications (FAO 2001). Therefore, lack of resources is significant cause of the delays in accessing health services by poor households which lead them to chronic illness because of HIV and AIDS. The relationship between HIV and AIDS and poverty is seen when HIV compromise health of an individual and because of poverty that individual lack resources to access health thereby leading to chronic illness or death.
More so, HIV increase financial constraints to a household already poverty stricken and it increases debts related to health. HIV/AIDS and poverty impact significantly especially on the household and its ability to cope with the epidemic. Household impact is one of the points at which AIDS and poverty demonstrate their intertwined relationship (Piot et al cited Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager 2005). At the household level the HIV-afflicted patient’s labour input gradually diminishes as the patient uccumbs to sickness, and the labour of other household and extended family members is often diverted to care for AIDS patients during this period, the most critical impact being when the patient becomes incapacitated before death. De Waal & Whiteside (2003) have found that diversion of labour coupled with the care of children orphaned as a result of the death of their parents to AIDS related diseases further impoverishes the household. The HIV/AIDS epidemic undercuts the ability of the households to cope with shocks. Assets are likely to be liquidated to pay for the costs of care.
Sickness and caring for the sick prevent people from migrating to find additional work. In the longer term, poor households may never recover even their initial low standard of living (UNDP 2009). This clearly shows the linkage between HIV/AIDS and poverty at household level because it leave a poor household in chronic poverty such that it will be difficult to come out of it. Like poverty, HIV/AIDS epidemic is affecting the sub-continent of Saharan Africa more severely than any other parts of the world with 63% of global AIDS cases occurring in the region (Mwambete and Justin-Temu 2011).
This shows a relationship between HIV/AIDS and poverty in the region because in sub Saharan high Africa there is high poverty as well as HIV prevalence. Jooma, cited in Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager (2005) cited that, the number of Africans living below the poverty line (less than 1 US dollar per day) has almost doubled from 164 million in 1981 to 314 million people today. She further contends that 32 of 47 African countries are among the world’s 48 poorest nations.
Therefore, HIV is high in Africa as compared to other continents of the world as well as poverty. However poverty and HIV and AIDS have a close link in diminishing human lives. Poverty and mobility are critical dimensions of vulnerability to HIV transmission (FAO 2001). Therefore, driving force behind migratory movements is poverty. ILO (2005) put forward that, poverty increases the risk of HIV/AIDS when it propels the unemployed into unskilled migratory labour pools in search of temporary and seasonal work, which increases their risk of HIV/AIDS.
UNDP (2009) in the same vein eludes that, poverty especially rural poverty, and the absence of access to sustainable livelihoods, are factors in labour mobility of the population including cross border migration and acceleration of the urbanization process, which contributes to create the conditions that sustain HIV transmission. However such situations widens the web of sex networking, and in this way it will facilitate the early rapid spread of HIV. This means that, poverty increases people’s mobility exposing them to infection when they are away from their families.
In this way poverty and HIV are synergistic and symmetrical in nature because in this essence, poverty create a migration platform which at the end expose people to HIV infection because of long time away from sexual partners. HIV and AIDS and poverty have strong bi-directional linkages. HIV/AIDS is both a manifestation of poverty conditions that exist, taking hold where livelihoods are unsustainable and the result of the unmitigated impact of the epidemic on social and economic conditions (ILO 2005).
HIV/AIDS is at the same time a cause and an outcome of poverty and poverty is both a cause and an outcome of HIV/AIDS. HIV and AIDS mainly affect the productive age of 15-60. ILO (2005) argues that, HIV/AIDS causes impoverishment when working-age adults in poor households become ill and need treatment and care, because income is lost when the earners are no longer able to work, and expenditures increase due to medical care costs. Therefore, this means HIV reduces household income generation because labour will be diverted to care for the sick person.
Unlike other sicknesses, HIV/AIDS does not target the poor. Whereas poverty may increase an individual’s susceptibility to infection by HIV/AIDS and vulnerability to its physical, social, and economic impact, HIV/AIDS itself is not ex ante linked with poverty. In addition HIV and AIDS increase consumption at the expense of production. Moreover, households often expend their savings and lose their assets in order to purchase medical care for sick members. Assets may have to be sold when many households are facing the same need, and such distress sales are often ill-timed and at a loss.
This lead to chronic poverty and it directly affect livelihoods. Women are more vulnerable than men to HIV infection because of, biological, cultural, lack of education, inheritance among other factors. In the same vein FAO (2001) alludes that, in many places HIV infection rates are three to five times higher among young women than young men. In addition to Mwambete and Justin-Temu (2011) posits that, fifty-eight percent of all Tanzanian adults living with HIV/AIDS are women. This shows women are most likely to be infected by HIV and AIDS.
Scott et al (2011) argues that, gender inequality and poverty deprives women of their ability to fulfil their socially designated responsibilities, and therefore debases them, often forcing them into prostitution which exposes them to HIV infection. Therefore, children raised in poor households face a large risk of achieving a low level of educational attainment and dropping out of school. Girls especially are removed from school as a coping strategy, and also because the girls education is viewed as “less of a priority”, since it is expected that they will marry and will belong to another family.
Women in Tanzania also have severely limited access to education, employment, credit, and transportation as a result northern coastal women—married and unmarried, young and old—are increasingly turning to sex work, exposing them to a high risk of HIV infection (Mwambete and Justin-Temu 2011). This increases poverty in women which expose them in risk behaviour such as commercial sex. This is because if women are denied to access education they will not find employment in a formal to cope with their basic needs also they will be vulnerable to sexual exploitation by men because of poverty.
ILO (2005) alludes that, poverty drives girls and women to exchange sex for food, and to resort to sex work for survival when they are excluded from formal sector employment and all other work options are too low-paying to cover their basic needs. Therefore, commercial sex exposes women to infection and it is mostly necessitated by poverty. In this essence a link between HIV and AIDS and poverty is when poverty forces people to enter into risk behaviour in order to gain living.
Therefore, poverty create reasons for women to practice commercial sex also because of poverty they can justify themselves for example women in Mkwaja village Tanzania in who were saying they accept that it is now the female burden to provide for their children, they said they risk dying from AIDS for the sake of our children (Mwambete and Justin-Temu 2011). HIV/AIDS and poverty have a link in affecting the food security at both household and national level. Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager (2005) argues that, HIV/AIDS and poverty combined have a debilitating effect on agricultural sector of the poor countries, and more effect in poor households.
Therefore, a major impact on agriculture includes the depletion of human capital, diversion of resources from agriculture, and loss of farm and non-farm income, together with other forms of psychological impacts that affect productivity. Since agriculture is the only source of food, reduction of labour cause severe food shortages in HIV and AIDS affected households. Households experiencing food shortages as a result of poverty and effects of HIV/AIDS increase the chances of fast progression of the illness and inevitable death of the ill person.
Given that malnutrition is a function of poverty, there is thus a good reason to assume that poverty helped hasten the spread of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa (Nattrass, cited in Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager 2005). Therefore, both HIV and poverty exert tremendous pressure on the household’s ability to provide for the basic needs like food. Poor nutritional status is linked to vulnerability to progression from HIV infection to mortality. Poor nutrition weakens the body’s defence against infection, and infection in turn weakens the efficiency of absorption of nutrients Mwambete and Justin-Temu (2011).
HIV is often associated with morbidity leading to labour shortage and loss of income. In the same line UNDP (2009) postulate that, people with chronic illness are often unable to work, therefore, leading to income reduction. They also need care from other household members, thus limiting their productive activities and doubling the loss of income which results in poverty. (Wyss et al cited in UNDP 2009) found that time lost due to illness by people living with HIV was approximately 16 days per month, while uninfected household members spent 8. days on average to care for affected family members, reducing their time for other activities and occupations. This clearly shows that HIV/AIDS divert labour to attend to a sick person. The link between HIV/AIDS and poverty in this essence is that, HIV deepens poverty through income reduction necessitated by labour diverted to attend to the sick person. Also on top of income reduction HIV increases consumption of available resources through medical expenses thereby leading to chronic poverty. UNDP (2009) reveals that, among the poor, up to 47% of income went to coping with the disease.
Although the relationship between, poverty and HIV/AIDS are synergistic and symmetrical in reducing people’s wellbeing. There are circumstances which they are not linked for instance in least developed countries a large number and a substantial fraction of public sector personnel with a capital of skills, training, and education, and of experience in management and policy-making – notably in the fields of health and education – are being removed from the labour force as a result of AIDS at a time when the need for their services is greatest for development (ILO 2005).
Therefore this shows that, AIDS can affect people regardless of their economic status. Therefore, not only poverty expose people to HIV infection by risk behaviours such as multiple sex partners associated with wealth. More over availability of income may cause individuals to be mobile and being exposed to commercial sex workers. In another study, HIV and education had a negative relationship in urban areas and a positive link in the rural areas (Hargreaves and Glynn cited in Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager 2005).
Where a positive link was found, the authors suggested that persons, especially men, with greater levels of education may have more disposable income which, in turn, allows them greater access to travel and increased opportunity for contact with commercial sex workers. The study found that generally the highest prevalence of HIV was found amongst the well off individuals/households, particularly affecting rich women, as opposed to poorer and rural households (Shelton et al cited in Ganyaza-Twalo and Seager 2005).
The findings pointed out that wealthier people tend to have the resources which lead to greater and more frequent mobility and expose them to wider sexual networks, encouraging multiple and concurrent relationships. But it was also observed that the wealthier people tend to have greater access to HIV medications that prolong their lives and are more likely to live in urban areas, which have the highest prevalence (Mwambete and Justin-Temu 2011) However, there are, exceptions to the relationship between HIV/AIDS and poverty, in particular in Africa where some countries with very high HIV prevalence rates are also among the richest UNDP (2009).
In line with this argument (FAO 2001) alludes that, there are some powerful critiques of the poverty-AIDS argument, which claim that many of the worst affected African countries such as Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa are among the most economically developed in the region, poverty does seem to be a crucial factor in the spread of HIV/AIDS. In conclusion, HIV and AIDS and poverty are related and they complement each other.
Therefore, high HIV prevalence is mainly fuelled by poverty which leads into migration and exercise of commercial sex by women to gain a living. Moreover poverty increases the progression of AIDS because of lake of medical services. More impacts of HIV and AIDS are seen in poor households because they cause more health defects as compared to a rich household. One may argue that, poverty creates a platform for people to be infected by HIV and if they are infected poverty further deepens its roots.
This is because of liquidation of productive asserts in trying to cope with disease. Although HIV affects all people with and without income, it has great impacts to a poor person. Finally impacts of HIV and AIDS in rich countries and households are not visible because of access to medical facilities. The impacts of HIV and AIDS are mainly visible in poor household who do not have funds to access treatment. Therefore the relationship between HIV and AIDS and poverty are synergistic and symmetrical in nature without compromise.
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