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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

HIV/Aids In Africa; How It Affects Society At Large

HIV/Aids has been an epidemic that has cost the lives of millions of Africans over a number of decades now. At first it infected and killed many Africans as a result of ignorance leading to irresponsible sexual behaviour, as a result of lack of information about the disease. This has since changed and many African governments have brought about great awareness to its people regarding this deadly virus, some have gone to the extent of declaring the virus a national disaster, and including the HIV/Aids studies in their school curriculums. All this was in an effort to educate their people on the diseases and at the same time have them informed on how to keep themselves protected from the virus. This information has led to reduced stigma directed to those members of society who are known to be suffering from the disease. However HIV/Aids still has some effects on the society, more so in Africa.
One of the more visible effects of the disease is the number of orphans it has left behind; being that it is a sexually transmitted disease. Africa has a very high number of infant orphans, some of whom were too young to even remember their parents by the time they passed on. These children end up in homes or the streets. Those who are a bit lucky get a family member who is willing to take care of them. Some of these children end up living a hard life having experienced stigma from abuse by other members of society, and in the long run it affects who they become when they grow up, if they manage to make it out of the street.
HIV/Aids causes many families affected by it through a family member getting infected to have to live in poverty. This is because it is a disease which Is expensive to manage. Those affected have multiple drugs that they need to take in order to have a semblance of an ordinary life. These drugs take a toll on the family finances, as a lot of sacrifices have to be made in order for the family to meet these costs. It becomes even more expensive if more than one family member gets infected.
As much as social stigma towards the disease has reduced due to more people getting educated on the disease, such stigma still exists, especially in the rural areas. Those infected with the disease in such areas are considered as immoral members of society; they are thus made outcasts and in some cases avoided at all cost by the other member s of society. Such stigma keeps those infected by the disease from living a normal life even though they may be managing the disease quite well and seem healthy. It gets worse when one cannot find a job or travel visa because he/she suffers from this condition. It leaves them in despair and depressed.
HIV/Aids has been a world-wide epidemic to this day, however those in Africa are the ones feeling its effect the most at this point, even though most European countries are receiving less cases of the condition. Volunteers are a big part of the progress that has been made so far towards awareness and prevention of the disease. They do this by travelling and organising workshops in interior parts of Africa and places most affected with the disease. Africa has to thank the volunteers from all over the world who come to help reduce the burden brought about by this epidemic. All you need to do is help/touch one life and you may have saved a generation

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