Aids in Africa

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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With the largest percentage of people infected with AIDS, Africa is facing a problem that is more deadly than war. Since two decades ago, AIDS has stricken the livelihood of all Africans and continues to ravage the countryside. It has devastated an entire generation and poses a threat to the population of Africa. With no end in sight, AIDS has impacted the health and living standards in Africa.

AIDS, caused by the HIV virus, weakens the immune system, allowing the body to be more susceptible to deadly microorganisms that the body would have otherwise been able to defend against. Most people die not because of AIDS, but of another disease caused by their weaken immune system. The HIV virus is spread through sexual activities and the use of dirty hypodermic needles. In Africa, where condoms and birth control are a rarity, the HIV virus is easily passed from one individual to another.

With 70% of all adults and 80% of children living with HIV/AIDS in the world, Africa is home to many orphans. Millions of parents who died of AIDS leave behind their children who have no relatives and thus have to survive on their own. Many of them died of starvation. Some are placed in orphan homes but the available capacity of these orphan homes are rapidly decreasing.

Cultural practices have also been attributed to the rapid increase in AIDS. Such practices include sharing blood in rituals establishing "brotherhood." Traditional medicine using shared instruments have also been linked to the spread of aids. Lastly, a process known as female "circumcision", in which certain female reproductive parts are removed, has increased the transmission rate.

Although the alarming rate of AIDS in Africa is well-known, many Africans feel that AIDS is shameful and disgraceful so they...