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Iulia Pariniuc

 

Stoneleigh-Burnham School

 

Posted on 05/27/01

 

AIDS IN AFRICA:

 

AIDS is becoming one of the most important problems of the modern world.

According to “AIDS Epidemic Update 2000” and the World Health

Organization (WHO), the current number of people living with HIV or AIDS

is 36.1 million, more than 50% higher than predicted in 1991. And this

number is increasing every day, hour and minute. The greatest number of

inhabitants sick with AIDS or HIV live in Africa. Over17 million

Africans have already died of AIDS-three times the number of AIDS deaths

in the rest of the world, orphaning 10 million or more African children.

“The AIDS situation in Africa is catastrophic and sub-Saharan Africa

continues to head the list as the world’s most affected region,” said

Peter Piot, Executive Director of UNAIDS. According to his report,

estimated 3.8 million people became infected with HIV in sub –Saharan

Africa during the year, bringing the total number of people living with

HIV/AIDS in the region to 25.3 million, or almost a million more than in

1999.

 

The reason of such great spread of the disease is inadequate level of

living and absence of needed education. According to WHO, more than 50%

of African population does not live a safe sexual life, and the increase

of number of drugs deteriorate the problem. For example, according to

Ministry of Health statistics, 2.2 million Kenyans are ill with HIV,

with average 500 deaths every day.

 

African medics do not want to show medical results to their patients and

to the government. They say that they do not reveal HIV results to

prevent the patients from fear of bad news. “Some patients literally die

hopelessly before their eyes”, they said. “Another problem is that when

some patients learn they are HIV positive, they go on their rampage,

despite the counseling we give them, said Matulumbu, an HIV/AIDS

specialist. The doctor, like his colleagues, said a number of patients

even took loans while others mortgaged family assets to use the money to

spread the disease. Such patients left their families double dilemma.

Dr. Matulumbu said: ”We are facing a serious problem because medics are

not trained on how to counsel HIV patients, yet we are expected to be a

counselor and a doctor at the same time.”

 

The patients, HIV and AIDS positive express discontent about the

doctors curing them. If the owner of the factory, a sick African is

working for, finds out that the worker is sick, he automatically dismiss

him from his work job. The owners of the companies do not want to deal

with insurance of sick workers, and do not want to employ HIV/ADIS

patients. The reality is sad, but it is true. Patients hide their

results of HIV/AIDS tests, and it is difficult to determine the number

of sick Africans.

 

AIDS is not a disease that can be either determined or cured. The real

number of people with HIV positive is not known. Some of them do not

want to talk about the disease, others simply do not know they are sick.

 

To help in preventing AIDS, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his

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