Human Populations and a Global Phenomenon: AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (commonly known as AIDS) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the damage to the immune system caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which attacks the body’s immune system leaving individuals vulnerable to opportunistic infections which usually results in death.
It was found that not everyone with HIV has AIDS, but everyone with AIDS has HIV. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of the bloodstream with bodily fluid such as: blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-seminal fluid and breast milk of a HIV positive person, during sexual intercourse, the sharing of contaminated ...view middle of the document...
In the past the impact of AIDS has been particularly devastating in sub-Saharan Africa, as the region is densely populated, poverty stricken, has an extremely high prevalence of unsafe sex and intravenous drug use among the population. The most disturbing thing of all is that the majority of people living in the region are uneducated, therefore unaware of the consequences (impacts) of living in such appalling conditions and undertaking in risky activities.
AIDS has impact on many sectors within a country/community
Human and social impacts of AIDS on people are:
* a wide variety of physical health problems.
* social isolation due to the stigma and misunderstanding of the spread of the disease.
* altered family responsibilities - grandparents caring for large numbers of grandchildren.
* children orphaned, and left to live alone and fend for themselves.
Currently more than 12 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa are maternal orphans of AIDS.
By 2010, 44 million children in 34 countries hardest hit by HIV/AIDS will have lost one or
both parents, primarily from AIDS.
* loss of cultural traditions as parents and key community members die before children are able to
absorb their knowledge.
* loss of healthy adults, which means less ability to grow food and earn an income.
* loss of income, which makes people less able to access health care, education, and food, which, in
turn, means they are less able to develop fully and protect themselves against exploitation and are
likely to fall further into debt.
* a high toll on the educational system in Africa; it has eroded the supply of qualified teachers, made
it more difficult for children to attend school because family budgets are reduced, and increased the
number of children growing up without the parental support they need to stay in school.
Economic impacts of AIDS on people are:
* loss of income as family members become sick and are unable to work, or have to give up work to
care for the sick.
* the increased mortality in HIV/AIDS affected regions will result in a smaller skilled population and
labour force which will impede economic growth and destroy human capita.
Economic impacts of AIDS on countries are:
* loss of investment in education and the knowledge and skills of professionally trained people
* reduced ability to produce food
* reduced ability to generate income from internal sales and exports
* high costs of treatment and demands on health systems
* collapse of economies and societies due to the large numbers of people who fall victim to AIDS and
are therefore unable to work.
* As HIV prevalence rates increase, there is a decline in the total and growth in national income.
In countries where 20 percent or more of the population is infected, GDP may decline up to 2
percent a year.
* AIDS has high costs to the workforce, including lost productivity, hiring and retraining,...