Global Health Issue Aids – Literature review Example
AIDS or HIV infection is recognized as a global pandemic by all world countries and other global organizations. One major factor that is contributingto the spread of the disease worldwide is globalization which has resulted in increased mobility of people that puts them at a high risk of contracting the disease. In countries such as Africa majority of those affected by HIV are women as wars and regional conflicts in those regions have resulted in increased rape and risky sexual practices among women and girls. In addition, poverty and low social status of women in these countries have put them at increased risk of contracting HIV. The growing decrease in agricultural produce has further augmented the susceptibility and spread of HIV through malnutrition. The transmission of the disease among the homosexual population is also on the rise. The use of syringes contaminated by the virus by intravenous drug users also poses a greater risk of transmission of the disease. In unchecked cases blood transfusion or organ transplant from donors infected with the disease could transmit the virus to the recipient. Hiv infected mothers also carry the risk of transmission to their unborn children either during pregnancy, delivery or labor. Breastfeeding has also been linked to HIV transmission. Other factors that have contributed to the global spread of the disease is through the recent surge in tattoo and piercing parlors where equipment infected with the virus could contribute to the spread of HIV. HIV infection can also spread in hospital settings when non-sterile instruments and surgical equipments contaminated with viruses that cause HIV are used. Though this type of transmission is low it continues to occur in poorer countries where unsafe practices continue to be followed even in hospitals. Both innocent patients as well as hospital staff could be affected in such cases (Coovadia & Hadingham 2005).
Many countries around the world have adopted various strategies to control the spread of HIV infection. In America many non-governmental organizations have taken the intiative to increase the awareness about the diseases especially among the target population such as gay men and heterosexuals who indulge in unsafe sexual practices. In order to reduce the spread of infection from mother to child, many hospitals in the US advocate antiretroviral drugs for infected pregnant women and abstinence of breastfeeding. Similar safe practices and harm reduction programs for injecting drug users have been initiated to reduce the risk of transmission. Similar programs are conducted in several western and central European countries by which the rate of HIV transmission in medical setting and from mother to child has been reduced. While the situation in countries such as Africa is very grave given their lower economic and educational status, countries such as Uganda have invested maximum effort towards reducing the spread of infection by creating increased awareness of safe sexual practices. The involvement of political organization and grassroots organizations, open communication and testing and treatment of the disease at the appropriate time have all contributed to the rate of reduction. In addition, countries such as Zimbabwe, Kenya and Senegal have also shown a reduction in HIV cases as political organizations strongly motivate people to abstain from unsafe sex and maintain marital fidelity. Countries such as Brazil have been successful in HIV prevention with the aid of non-governmental organizations and strong programs that focused on HIV prevention and care such as condom use and harm reduction programs. Cuba follows an old fashioned approach as people diagnosed with the disease are quarantined and their spouses are also tested for the infection. While gay sex is strictly prohibited, use of condoms and sex awareness programs are not given due importance. In Thailand and Cambodia which boasted of a thriving sex industry and hence a growing HIV epidemic measures such as 100% condom use and discouraging men from visiting sex workers have contributed immensely to curtail the epidemic. In India and China use of condoms and education and awareness about HIV along with routine testing for the disease have all helped in disease reduction (Avert, n.d).
Coovadia, HM & Hadingham, J, 2005 ‘HIV/AIDS: global trends, global funds and delivery bottlenecks’, Globalization and Health, vol. 1, pp. 13. Available from: http://www.globalizationandhealth.com/content/1/1/13 [10 March 2014]
Avert, n.d, HIV Prevention Around the World. Available from: http://www.avert.org/hiv-prevention-around-world.htm [10 March 2014]