HIV and Aids: the Past and Present Impact on the Global Level
HIV OR AIDS is a health issue concerning 36 million people around the globe and it has a devastating affect on people victimized to it. HIV is a very challenging disease both in developed and developing nation .The most adverse results of this disease is that it attacks the people in their most productive age and savages the communities, distorts the production of food and services, and place an enormous burden on the already fragile and delicate health care system of poor nations.
During the years of 1999 and 2000, the amount of people died in African continent due to HIV is way ahead than the total people died in all wars in the continent. The African continent being most under developed has been a major victim of HIV/AIDS since the disease got discovered.
Because of AIDS, there had been sever distortion in the economy of Africa and also the life expectancy of the region has been significantly affected. It is not only an epidemic suffocating Africa, but all the continents of world are suffering hardly to combat this disease. According to (Ashford,2006)“By 2005, more than 25 million people had died and an estimated 39 million were living with HIV. An estimated 4 million people were newly infected with HIV in 2005—95percent of them in sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, or Asia”. HIV is not only a disease devastating global society, but it is also the fourth ranked fatal diseases in the world. The number of children and adults died because of this epidemic is far beyond imagination and statistics.
The Origin of HIV
It is a common notion among people that origin of HIV/AIDS virus is due to some natural phenomena. It is widely believed that African men contracted AIDS from some chimpanzee during hunting time. As per (Horowitz, 2002) “Key among these HIV origin theories is the so called “cut hunter theory” in which a human, allegedly African native, received a bloody wound or infected splash while preparing a chimpanzee carrying a similar virus”. But further researched ignored this concept, and accused human for the emergence of HIV and AIDS. The HIV was however, first recognized in 1981, when many gay men developed an unexplainable resistance to medication for their acquired infections and cancers.
Interestingly, HIV scientifically called Human Immunodeficiency Virus progressed to become AIDS. Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome or otherwise called AIDS can harm the immunity of a person and can cause death of the person. Once a person have detected with HIV, then he or she in few years a victim gets AIDS. AIDS is the final stage of HIV infection. It is only good if the person infected with HIV in the initial stage is treated otherwise he or she can be diseased with AIDS which is fatal.“CDC estimates that about 56,000 people in the United States contracted HIV in 2006.There are two types of HIV, HIV-1 and HIV-2. In the United States, unless otherwise noted, the term “HIV” primarily refers to HIV-1”(NCH,2010).It can be an astonishing fact, but the origin of HIV is still in ambiguity and up to date science is engaged in study about the origin of this malicious disease.
HIV Prevalence in African continent
HIV is a condition over the past three decades have cause irrevocable damage to health, wellbeing and sustenance of a person. In 27 years time, HIV has killed around 25 million people and causes debilitating illness and horrifying death states to people in their prime years of life. This disease has not only caused damage to the life of a person but also caused devastation to the family and community surrounding them. Moreover it had kept a very complicated situation in front of African countries in fighting the poverty and improvement of health of their society.As per (Chao,2010,pg.41-50) “South Africa is at the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic severely affecting nearly all countries in sub Saharan Africa. South Africa has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world”.
The effect of HIV on health can show many symptoms and initial ones can be seen in the form of common cold, flu or headache. Later the victim can be found to be fatigue, and have swollen glands and rashes. The problem with HIV is that it does not have specific symptoms; hence symptoms are not a proven way to find out HIV infection. Only the HIV anti – body test can be helpful in finding out the infection clearly. It is a known fact that HIV is transmitted only through bodily fluids and not by mere physical contact. In his book (Howard,2007,pg.3)writes that “HIV is most often transmitted through sexual contact by rapidly binding in to the cells that are present in the cervical, vaginal and rectal mucosa”.
In the past this disease has negatively affected the life and economy of the African continent in a significant way. It has lessened the ability of people to support and provide for their family and made the government to spend lavish amount on its treatment. The treatment and health care service providing cost itself have given a big burden to the African government which is already poor in wealth and health care system. HIV has deprived many families and societies of Africa of their house hold income .This reduced income of families and heightened costs of medication make the individuals and household poor .“Generation of young people is being decimated .Young women are in greatest peril: more than three quarters young South Africans living with HIV is female” (Karim,2010,pg.97).
It is highly seen that women are at more risk of infection from HIV and cannot provide for family and children because of undulation and less social awareness. Children affected by HIV /AIDS is not less and their mostly get infected directly from their mothers. These children in African poor countries sometimes have ill parents or are orphan and get no access to education or nutrition. If the young people infected even want to help them and infected parents they are helpless and isolated. About 60% sub -Saharan African women. The very badly affected countries such as South Africa, at the age of infected men and women are around 15 to 25 years.
HIV in Asia and other countries
Since Asia is highly concentrated in population, the prevalence of HIV infected people is also high in this continent. The HIV in countries like India, Bangladesh, Srilanka and China are mostly seen among labor class, sex workers and illiterate people. The sex workers and their clients, drug users and those who live in unclean environment get infected by this deadly disease and as a result lose their life. According to (Steinbrook ,2007.pg.1089-1093)“India has a population of 1.1 billion people — one sixth of the world’s population — and is home to perhaps one of every eight people with HIV infection. The estimate of 5.7 million HIV-infected people in India — as compared with 5.5 million in South Africa — captured wide attention”.
If in a country like India, HIV outbreaks, then it will be very difficult for government and other voluntary organizations to control it. However, HIV is found more in southern states of the country than in northern parts. Moreover China being the most populated country in the world is also not behind with HIV cases. In china HIV is mainly spread through drug use and mishandling of injecting needles. As per (Qian,2006, pg3-4)”Illicit drug abuse and HIV/AIDS have increased rapidly in the past 10 to 20 years in China. Injecting Drug Users have so far contributed to 42% of cumulatively reported HIV/AIDS cases”. Even Philippines is not backwards in HIV cases and their government is struggling hard to keep the disease away from its population.
In recent years HIV as an epidemic have grown to cause disaster in developing as well as developed nations. According to Statistics around 5 million people have been affected by this disease in the year 2000 itself. For example Brazil is a country which was affected by HIV in 1980s and the Brazil government was also successful in keeping away the epidemic from people. After 2004, the epidemic was only 0.6 % among its population. And when it comes to Australia the HIV is an issue to fight for the government and they have taken compulsory steps to remove it from the country. Inhis book (Aggleton,1997,pg.12)writes that, “In Australia the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been and continues to be one which affects mainly homosexually active men, and those mostly concentrated with men who are connected to the gay communities”.
When in comes to HIV, Mexico has the lowest prevalence of the epidemic in the whole world .It is also mostly seen only among the poor and the working class. It is also observed that Migrants from Mexico who reach US contract HIV and take this back to their country. From there mostly their wives catch up with infection spread to other people of the community. The main reason for the spread of HIV is unclean environment and lack of education among the people. This is the same reason it is mostly noted among the working class, sex workers and drug users of the society. Nevertheless the proportion of HIV in Mexico is way less than other countries and is the lowest in the world.
Help of various channels in fighting HIV
The main organization which fights for the removal of the HIV is UN, which is United Nations. It has done much effort in studying and implementing strategies to remove this dangerous disease from the face of the earth. (UN,2001)states that “Alarmed by the accelerating epidemic and its global impact, the United Nations General Assembly decided to convene a special session on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) at the highest political level. Held in New York from 25 to 27 June 2001”In this meeting different government leader, AIDS expert and activists, private organizationsall decided various steps to fight against this problem.
Apart from this, other NGOs also make much effort in fighting the disease by working in close connection with poor and uneducated sectors of their country and educating people about protective sex. There are also many social activists and voluntary and involuntary activist who work for the betterment and prevention of AIDS all around the world. On top of this the entertainment media like Television, Radio and Internet also play a very vital role in giving information to people about the bad effect of this dangerous epidemic. These entertainment channels are very useful as this reaches to nook and corner of the villages and cities and can spread the message of the dangerous characteristics of HIV/AIDS to common men. It can also be seen in recent years that celebrities too join the AIDS campaign to create awareness among people who are unaware of this disease.
New medical developments to cure HIV
The HIV is not only a health issue but also a social concern to the people and government all around globe. In recent years a new controversy has come up in American research area that researchers are experimenting drugs on individual of African continent. It is controversial because it is unethical to conduct experiment of innocent population of Africa. This can not only have bad impact on the health of these people but also on the economic and social welfare of the region.(SANFORD,2009)claims that “However, over the past decade the population of Africa has begun to start their own research studies and have started to create their own medications based on research and development”.
The scientists have reportedly found out a medicine called VIR-576 lately which can stop the virus from invading the human cells. (Gardner,2011)states that ,“The medication, called VIR-576 for now, is still in the early phases of development. But researchers say that if it is successful, it might also circumvent the drug resistance that can undermine standard therapy.” According to medical experts this drug could be very useful as it have less medical side effects. The best part of this new drug will be that it focuses on disease when it is in the pre – invasion stage. Even the natural treatment has come up now as a very effective treatment for HIV. The Aired, which is an Indian science of treating HIV, is also a slow and forceful way of treating this disease.
Another treatment is the invention of a single pill which can be taken once a day to fight against the disease.(Pollock ,2006)refers that , “The pill, which combines three drugs made by two companies, would be a milestone in improving the simplicity of treatment for the disease, experts say. It should make it easier for people to take their medicine regularly.” This drug has been revealed to be giving great relief to the HIV sufferers from a death sentence disease like HIV/AIDS. Nonetheless, three decades after the appearance of this disease there had been no major medication or treatment which could stop this from occuring.Many researchers and drug makers have been struggling to find an appropriate medicine or treatment to work against this disease.
Generally speaking, without proper treatment nearly all people with infected HIV will get AIDS. So if a proper treatment is done in the initial stages of the infection, it can result in the prevention of AIDS. Today there are many antis – HIV drugs available in the market which ensure partial or full recovering of the infection. Unfortunately millions of people around the world who are infected with HIV have no access to the drugs and treatment for this disease. Many governments are struggling to provide proper treatment or medicines to HIV or Aids affected people which are a sad state to mention. It is a fact that more than 10 million of people are still waiting to get proper treatment to save their life. These people along with treatment also need sex education, nutritional support and simple treatment and less costly drugs.
HIV is a dangerous epidemic which is a threat to the entire human society. It has destructed millions of people around the world and yet more are under the grip of this disease. Since its emergence, the scientific and medical world is conducting researches and studies to find out its origin .However, they are not successful in finding out the real cause or reason behind this fatal viral infection. The treatments of this disease are very few and not very successful. The best way to prevent it is from having a healthy and safe sexual lifestyle and getting education about the disease in a detail manner.
Many people in the remote regions of underdeveloped nation are ignorant and unknown about the causes and symptoms of this disease “The epidemic grip on Africa has been by far the deadliest, but no part of the world is immune.”14. The main step to be taken to fight this disease is through awakening the specific governments of all countries by United Nations and World Health Organizations in a planned way. People can only resist the disease if they have knowledge about its cause and this can be done only by the government of underdeveloped and developing nations.
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