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Logan Jeffrey

Period 4D
10/10/14

AIDS In Sub-Saharan Africa

(Picture above is the concentration of AIDS in Africa. Notice the massive


concentration in the southern parts, where it is the most affected.)
In Africa's Sub-Saharan area, AIDS has become a deadly pandemic throughout the
continent, in addition to the Ebola virus. But what is the AIDS virus, and why is it affecting so
many people? The AIDS virus originates from the HIV virus, which is transmitted from fluids,
injection, and open wounds. The HIV virus over time, progressively grows worse for the body,
and it slowly shuts down the immune system. After 5-10 years, the symptoms worsen, and the
body begins to develop bizarre and dire diseases that one wouldn't have if the immune system
was working, such as Toxoplasmosis and Tuberculosis. The infection of HIV can be slowed

down by the use of expensive and numerous drugs. These drugs replace the declining
white blood cell number which is an irreplaceable part of the immune system. However,
death can be close and inevitable even with that, as there isnt a cure for HIV or AIDS.

The highest concentration of the AIDS virus is present in Sub-Saharan Africa,


where there are 25 million people with HIV/AIDS spread across the area. Why is there
such a large number of people with AIDS in that particular area alone, and what are the
repercussions?
Due to the lack of notice in the 1980s, little prevention with condoms, along with
discrimination and economic problems, AIDS has spread rapidly over 30 years in the

region. It has made the life expectancy dwindle to under 60 years of age and has since
decreased from the 1980s. It has also put serious pressure on healthcare, and
economic productivity has stalled due to the disease. The area in Sub-Saharan Africa
that was affected the most was in South-West Africa, where the population of people
with HIV/AIDS is about 6.1 million to 25 million overall, and this one has 17.98 percent
in total of 25 million as opposed to the 10-15 percent rating of the other African
countries. In general, Sub-Saharan Africa is certainly not doing well with the HIV/AIDS
epidemic after 30 years, but how can it be helped?

The answer to helping with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Sub-Sharan is certainly not
an easy answer. However, the best combination to dealing with the oncoming HIV/AIDS
epidemic is prevention and resistance to the disease by affordable drugs. This is not as
easy as it sounds, as it would take immense focused effort, luck, and dedication to do
so. Along with this, sexual education should be taught more often in school, as well as a
more proper health care for those with HIV/AIDS. Promoting the use of condom and
getting tested for the disease would be a wise decision, to prevent or know that the
person has the disease so he/she doesnt spread the virus and get help for it right away.
In order to combat the virus, the way to run the epidemic down is to use prevention, and
if failing that, have it tested to check if the virus is there. Its a complicated solution to a
complicated problem, but the healthcare and HIV/AIDS promotion really needs to
recover in order to make a dent in the number with people with HIV/AIDS in the future.

Sources:
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/basics/causes/con-20013732
http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/
http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-sub-saharan-africa.htm
http://www.tradingeconomics.com/sub-saharan-africa/life-expectancy-at-birth-total-years-wbdata.html