The Impact of AIDS
Beyond the aspects of a disease, AIDS and HIV bestow a larger role over Africa’s society. The impacts the disease manipulates upon society quickly skipped the stage of an epidemic and earned the title of a pandemic. The pandemic transfers more that just shorter life expectancy or higher death tolls, it flows into every aspect of tradition life in Africa, distorting tradition life.
Within the poor community, hospitals are both overcrowded, lacking beds, and poorly equipped. Patients stay an average of four times longer than in any other society’s hospital, but still leave the facility not completely or barley recovered. The lack of money the families’ processes cannot afford the healthcare either to provide for their sick loved ones. Those who have AIDS are not able to work, adding to the dependency ratio, relying on others for financial support, though no one is able to provide it. Some women must become prostitutes in order to pay families medical bills, which is illegal but also helps AIDS diffuse into vulnerable humans. The cycle of the spread of AIDS and money is a vicious circle that is amicable for no one. The expenses in medical care only begin the problems in food supply. With ill workers on agricultural fields and parents who cannot participate in subsistence farming, families and children are left to starve and salvage any food in site. In an interview with Colin Harper he says, “80% of the people [of Zimbabwe] are out of work and have no access to the U.S. dollar.” Like many countries in Africa, “Zimbabwe’s currency went into liquidation a few years ago.” Currency failures do not support the situation of lack of money, but adds to the list of problems any African citizen may face. Some may call this cycle, “the Circle of Life,” since any affect in ones’ health leads a ripple affect to the other aspects of life, but I call it “the Circle of Death.”
Childhood should bring happiness and prosperity through learning and development in any developed society, but in Africa, the children also face the affect of AIDS. The death of parents or their inability to support the family financial with basic necessities affects the children right away. Each child automatically ventures into the world lost, alone and hungry with no prior knowledge on how to properly support themselves. This begins the life of sex trafficking, domestic forced child labor, malnutrition and poverty. Stressing about food, children drop out of school in order to work to support the financial needs of their family. Teachers are also low in supply, since many are often sick or are HIV victims, meaning children can go weeks without a teacher. With an already low number of teachers, children are unable to gain the knowledge to aid them and give them advice to change their habits, but modify and amend their community. Development in childhood molds the path most children will follow into the “real world,” but children can only enhance society through their new knowledge, but no modifications can be made without the knowledge. Nothing is learned from the past, but is just relived through each vulnerable generation.
On a global scale, the economy feels the impacts of HIV and AIDS. Workers are not able to participate in commercial farming or factory work if deadly ill with HIV and AIDS, so the company starts to condescend. National economic growth rates have declined due to the lack of workers by 2-4%. (According to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1122139/) As food and manufactured good production fails in one area due to the lack of workers, the few companies that still can provide the good are depended on even more by a larger threshold of civilians. Unable to provide to the wide range of people, the families that do and do not deal with HIV suffer the consequences with higher prices or lack of goods. As the economy suffers however, so do the wages of the workers still able to add value to their workplace, receiving lower wages that the rest of the world. These people have little income to provide for their families for necessities, again adding to the problem. In the eyes of the international sale of goods, less productivity within the country results in little exports, but a high dependency on imports from more developed countries, with high prices.
In the government, AIDS-denialism strives to forgo the ideology of HIV causing the spread of AIDS, but instead, convince the public that AIDS is a result of the HIV vaccinations and a mixture of poverty, malnutrition and other social problems. The firm believers of these people state that HIV does not exist, HIV is not accurately tested, along with other arguments against all the research and statements proven by scientists around the world. In South Africa this problem occurred in the government, were President Thabo Mbeki disagreed with the idea of AIDS. He created policies that embedded his beliefs to doctors and scientist, influencing and enforcing them to discourage the truth of AIDS to the public. The government would not provide the citizens with anti-HIV virus treatment, which resulted in at least 330,000 people. If the government disagrees with the disease, many loyal or forced civilians will follow and will absorb themselves in the mindset that AIDS is a conspiracy. Traitorously, the government who should be providing securing and prosperity to the people are diminishing the rights and ability to a healthy and full life by secreting the immunizations and vaccines, entangling more problems into the impact of AIDS.
At the eye view of a large cooperation founded in South Africa’s mining industry or the view of a child living in poverty with two parents who are dying of HIV, both would exclaim they faults and affects AIDS has implicated into their lives. Poverty, malnutrition, major economic and political disputes have all come about do to the AIDS pandemic, forming a list of social issues beyond the basis of one disease into a global social struggle.
For infomation on AIDS denialist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDS_denialism#AIDS_denialists.27_claims
For infomation and further explaination of the impacts from AIDS: http://www.avert.org/aids-impact-africa.htm