The Worldwide Impact of AIDS


The Health Scenario

As poor countries are often the most affected by the spread of the disease, many nations are not able to provide the needed amount of health care for affected citizens. In sub-Saharan parts, governments are reported to only have the capacity of providing $300 worth of aid per person per year. At the same time, since HIV/AIDS patients stay loner inside the hospital than other patients with different diseases, it is estimated that patients with this disease will soon be using up to 70% of allowed expenses of hospitals in the region.

Healthcare professionals also suffer the toll of the disease. Healthcare workers are put in a danger zone by dealing with too many patients during their stay. At the same time, they are also subjected to additional training needed to administer antiretrovival drugs (ARVs). While these drugs provide hope to slow down the progress of HIV to becoming AIDS, many available health workers are not equipped to administer these to the patients.

Effects on the Individual

A person living with HIV/AIDS is more often a person living with the worldwide stigma. As South and South East Asia are the secondary regions that are affected by this pandemic, victims of the disease are affected by existing religious beliefs and political settings.

One of Asia’s main religions is Catholicism, and with the existing stand of the Catholic Church to oppose the use of birth control products such as condoms, people become prone to sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

In other countries, certain viewpoints about the disease remain unchanged. As the first cases of AIDS are associated with homosexual transmission, gay men are being put under stigma that they are afflicted with the disease. At the same time, there are a huge number of people who are uninformed about how the disease spreads think that people who gets physical contact with a patient will get the disease as well, from close encounters with a bartender to swimming in a pool.

One classic example of this stigma is experienced by Ryan White, who got the infection due to a contaminated blood treatment to help him deal with hemophilia. White, who was a teenager then, was banned from attending school as parents and faculty of Western Middle School (located in Russiaville) rallied against his attendance after his diagnosis was known. Indiana Court ruled against the banning, as Howard County’s health office deemed him fit to attend school. White became a poster boy and national spokesman for young AIDS victims.

The Global Impact

Because of the continued spread of the disease, all countries around the globe will soon bear the impacts of AIDS. Experts note that this burden will be carried by developing countries in the coming years, as the expenses for AIDS are projected to become much larger, if the combined initiatives are not able to reverse its spread by 2015.

It is important to note that while areas that are heavily impacted by AIDS are in sub-Saharan regions and in some parts of Asia, the treatment and funding for discovery of deterrents that are more effective come from foreign aid. Countries that are affected by the disease will soon have to hold on to financial help of other countries, and if the disease is not stopped or slowed, it will drain considerable amount of resources.

What You Can Do About AIDS

Having increased awareness about the spread of AIDS has far-reaching effects already. Being able to stop open discrimination against victims of the disease can help spread knowledge about the disease and how one can protect himself against contamination.

While this disease is discovered in the 1980s, Kaiser Family Foundation reports that more than 25% of the adults they surveyed believe that they can be contaminated by AIDS by sharing a glass of water with a patient. A lot of government broadcasts and educational ads have belied this; however, the situation is still the same.

Spreading the right information about HIV/AIDS empower people to become proactive in the worldwide campaigns against the spread of the disease and care of those who suffered from the disease the most. You can participate in various programs that seek to educate people about the disease, and at the same time, raise funds to help families that deal with the pandemic.

Is the Future Looking Better?

Thanks to the support of UN-affiliated nations, private individuals, and non-government organizations, the spread of AIDS have significantly diminished in the recent years, compared to its record spread rate during the 90s and early 2000s. The future of the countries dealing with AIDS offers a bright promise, if the spread rate of the disease continues to decline. The United Nations and the World Health Organization, together with various volunteers all over the world, continues to provide support to sub-Saharan Africa and other regions that are heavily affected by the disease.

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