HIV/AIDS epidemic - the major causes and possible correspondence.

Essay by omido September 2003

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Since the first clinical evidence of AIDS was reported two decades ago, HIV/AIDS has spread to every corner of the world. Economic insecurity, displacement caused by conflicts and disasters, illiteracy, violence and abuse, and social exclusion are only part of the numerous factors contributing to the HIV/AIDS prevalence. HIV/AIDS affects both rich and poor citizens in both developed and developing countries, and it is one of the biggest challenges the world is facing.

A majority of HIV infection world wide occurs through sex between men and women. However, many people infected with HIV do not know they are carrying the virus. Nor do they know much about the disease. It is clear that the HIV infections through sex are strongly related to lack of knowledge of HIV transmission and skills to practice safe sex. Often times, religious and cultural habits which refuse the use of contraceptive devices are being an obstacle for the promotion of the sexual behavior.

As the HIV/AIDS epidemic continues to spread, its association with drug use is becoming more apparent. It is estimated that about 10% of HIV infections globally result from injecting drug use. In some European and Asian countries, more than half of HIV infections are attributed to injecting drug use. In many cases, injecting drug users are forced to live on the margins of society and lack access to HIV/AIDS information and protection.

Improving access to education, employment and livelihoods is a valuable feature of effective preventing method. Information and the means for protection must reach everyone, especially marginalized sections of societies. Women and men must be able to apply the lessons and tools to protect them selves. The cultural and social conditions in which people live shape their options and behaviour. Changing those conditionsand the attitudes of others, for...