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Will Hiv And Aids As The Black Death Of The Twenty First Century

1081 words - 5 pages

Will HIV and AIDS as the Black Death of the Twenty-First Century

According to an article on BBC World Service, published on 25th
October, 2001, the Black Death claimed 25 million lives in Europe and
Asia between the 13th and 17th century. Now nearly 400 years later the
British Medical Journal reports an estimated 65 million deaths from
AIDS by the end of the decade. Obviously these figures are rough
estimates, however they illustrate the severity of the Bubonic Plague
and the impending severity of an AIDS epidemic. These figures
themselves lead me to believe that in fact AIDS is already the modern
day Black Death and whether anyone will be here in ...view middle of the document...

There may be more success in finding a cure, so that AIDS will not be
looked back upon in years to come as the Black Death of its time if,
governments supported research more themselves. An example of a
country not supporting the research into the cure of AIDS is South
Africa. Even though it has the fastest growing rate of HIV infection
with more than one in ten people believed to be HIV positive and in
some parts of the country one in four woman tested at anti-natal
clinics had the virus, the government do very little in terms of
research or education. Many blame President Thabo Mbeki, one being
Mangouthu Buthelezi. 'Mbeki like many other South Africans, is in a
state of denial about the impact of the disease' and speculates that
it could just be that he is balking at the cost of dealing with the
AIDS epidemic.

South Africa however is not alone. Many countries in Africa, and all
around the world will not face up to the devastating effects of the
AIDS disease or simple do not want to. The number of people with
reported HIV is growing in abundance, with an increase in Eastern
Europe, Middle East, Philippians and the Caribbean Islands. The number
is also increasing in the western world. The following data
illustrates the increase in some countries in Western Europe
collectively.

Graph to show the number of HIV diagnoses in a number of countries in
Western Europe between 1995 and 2000

[IMAGE]

Fig1. Trends in reports of new HIV diagnosis to EuroHIV, 1995-2000, by
major exposure category (Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland,
Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and UK). MSM = Men having sex
with men, HC = Heterosexual men and women and IDU = Intravenous drug
users.

The above graph shows that the number of transmissions has decreased
among gay men and drug users, but is increasing among heterosexual men
and women. This is worrying and shows many men and women have become
complacent about safe sex practice. This is where education must take
the fore front.

Governments have a large role to play in educating people about how
HIV is transmitted. In today's modern media, education and
communication can be delivered to a mass...

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