AIDS Is Why Africa Is A Developing Nation

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's August 2001

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Africa has always been considered a developing nation. Its constant tribal disputes have lead to much disunity among the continent as a whole. Africa lacks a large amount of resources such as food and a good exporting business that can't enable them to care for their people. And so, many of the per capita incomes of the separate countries are horrifyingly low. Hygiene and health issues also chiefly contribute to the fact that Africa is a developing nation. One major crisis that is killing millions of people mainly in Africa is AIDs. AIDs is the major contributing force behind Africa's status as a developing nation.

AIDs is a virus that is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that destroys the immune system of a person. AIDs is a virus that weakens the body gradually and so other infectious diseases are easily caught. It is a widely spread deadly disease, which at this moment has no cure.

Statistics show that about 1 in every 250 Americans are affected today. That can be considered a very surprisingly large percentage in America, which is considered a very developed country that can facilitate many of the people's health needs. The percentage of people in a lesser-developed country such as Africa is still higher than America's. In Africa 24.5 million people have died from AIDs; 3.8 million of them are children under 15. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that AIDS deaths and the loss of future population from the deaths of women of child-bearing age means that by 2010, Africa will have 71 million fewer people than it would otherwise have. Between the years 2005 and 2010, scientists think that the life expectancy will abruptly fall from 59 to 45. These staggering statistics itself show the hard toll AIDS have taken on Africa.

AIDs itself as the disease, is not only the major killer of people. Many who have AIDS do not seek help for fear of fellow villagers discovering their problem and murdering them. AIDS infected individuals have two options; either to let fellow neighbors know of their disease, seek treatment, and risk being alienated from their families and friends or even being killed; or, they can keep their condition secret and die a slow, painful death.

About 12.1 million children are orphaned by AIDs in Africa. Those who have lost fathers, mothers, aunts, and uncles must now care for themselves as well as their own siblings. Many of these children are at the age of 12 and must find ways to survive despite their dire poverty. They have no money, food, health care, or means of traveling. The conditions they must live in are appalling. Many live out in the bare land; others have unsteady huts that are not properly insulated or repaired and cannot protect themselves from the exposure to nature. While in other world nations population growth is rising, Africa's is declining.

There is much research and experimenting being done in order to help find a cure for AIDs. There are few treatments that hinder the inevitable fate, however these beneficial treatments can be found in industrialized countries. Their deaths caused by AIDs, are being cut in half while, those in undeveloped countries are increasing day by day. Many of the people that are dying are doctors, teachers, and nurses and are becoming harder to replace just as fast.

Some factors that play a role in the spread of the disease is the people's failure to discuss sex, poverty, ignorance, and the cost of AIDs drugs. The people are uneducated when it comes to reproductive health. This contributes to Africa's high poverty rate and low literacy rate. Men work in mines and construction projects and can be the reason for the 50 percent increase of AIDs in cities. Many women who must support themselves and their family turn to prostitution in which they have unsafe sex and spread the disease. Women also in some tribes, are forced to have sex with men of their tribe and so pass the disease on. It is due to common ignorance among the people for them to think that if a man looks healthy, they could not have AIDs or that men don't need to be tested for the disease. Poor education among the people about their health does not help them with protection or prevention.

Statistics have shown that Africa's per capita income has decreased twenty percent. This is due to the rapid fatality of workers between the ages of 20 and 50, which is considered the ideal age to work. Those that must now work in the jobs of the people that have died are not as talented or qualified. Families with loved-ones that have the disease must spend what money they have for their treatment when that money could have gone to food, farming, or for the future of their children. Many workers are employed for a job fit for one person because the death of one due to AIDs is inevitable. Many companies in plces such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia have to increase their health insurance premiums causing costs to exceed profits.

AIDs has become such a crisis in Africa that it is a chief concern of the United States'. They believe that by the year 2010, Africa will be consisted of entirely of forty million orphans that will cause chaos and anarchy because they have no education. The only way to improve this problem is to invest time and money. However, African nations spend very little in AIDs awareness programs and most of their money comes from other industrialized nations such as the United States. Constant education and a building of economy can only help Africa out of its growth slump.

Africa is not advancing in its productivity and the major reason is its AIDs epidemic. Constant deaths and few births have hindered its population growth as well as destroyed its manpower for the economy. Lack of food and medicines to strengthen the people are due to its lack of money. World powers must help this nation to get on its feet. Helping with contributing money so they can be industrious would be effective, however too much help must not be given so that Africa will not become dependent on others. A stronger government must be formed to enforce laws as well as be willing to invest money and resources to support their people. Educating children from their youth about hygiene as well as the usual curriculum must be initiated to prevent ignorance when they grow older. AIDs is a major problem and cannot go unnoticed anymore. Africa is in serious danger because of this epidemic however that does not mean that it is too late to rectify the situation so that it can become a strong world power.