We In The West Help?
The HIV/AIDS Epidemic in
According to a study by the
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) published in
2008, there are almost 24 million people in Africa who are infected
with the virus. In recent years, that number has leveled off, and
has even begun to decline, although very slowly. In an effort to
keep the number of new cases declining, most countries should be
implementing more funds for prevention, however; so much is being
allocated to care and treatment, that it's nearly impossible.
Since there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, one of the better preventative
solutions would be to try to educate as many school aged young
adults as possible about the virus, how it spreads, and how it's
contracted. Unfortunately, there is quite a way to go yet, as over
half of those questioned still do not know about HIV/AIDS, or how to
prevent themselves from contracting it.
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Sadly, two million of the HIV/AIDS cases are children under the age
of fifteen, and almost all of them were the result of
mother-to-child transmission (MTCT). Effective steps being
implemented to prevent MTCT include making HIV testing available in
more places; providing antiretrovirals to pregnant mothers;
performing Caesarean sections to prevent children from coming in
contact with their mother's blood, and making breast-milk
substitutes more available.
Currently, the only way to control HIV/AIDS is to take
antiretrovirals (ARVS), which work by preventing the virus from
multiplying and destroying the immune system. For the maximum
benefit, it's recommended that up to three or four ARVS be taken at
one time, as the virus has less of a chance to develop a resistance
to a combination of drugs. Unfortunately, these drugs have to be
taken every day for the rest of a personís life and can be quite
costly to those in low-income countries.
If it weren't for international aid from countries such as America,
Africa would surely be losing itís battle. America has stepped in
and allocated 6.5 billion of our 2010 HIV/AIDS budget to be used for
global assistance, in addition to allocating more funds for research
In conclusion, the best strategy for preventing the epidemic of
HIV/AIDS from taking any more lives is to continue to set higher
goals for communities such as adding more educational programs for
children and continuing to expand the care and treatment services
already in place. Although there is no cure, continual progress is
being made in the development of antiretrovirals, and perhaps one
day treating this disease will become more effective and affordable.
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