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Disease And Poverty Essay

1364 words - 5 pages

Disease and PovertyThere is a direct correlation between poverty and disease. Poverty creates a cyclical relationship with disease for vulnerable groups and countries in that it causes people and countries to be hopeless, unaccountable, and irresponsible, which in turn creates the conditions for disease to fester and spread. Thus, from a human behavior perspective, many of the diseases that are causing so much suffering in our world today could be prevented if individuals and governments would be responsible in their behavior.HOW DISEASE OCCURSGiven the spread of diseases in poor countries, it is necessary to examine how they occur. HIV/AIDS is a good example. Some people, mostly a few evangelical Christians, have suggested that HIV/AIDS is divine punishment to curb promiscuity and homosexuality. There is even an apocalyptic ring to that suggestion, and it says that in the last days incurable diseases will afflict humanity. To some Christians, then, HIV/AIDS and other deadly diseases point to the end of the world. To the extent that the medical and scientific community has not yet developed a cure for HIV/AIDS, these Christians may continue to hold their unique perspective on the disease.Indeed HIV/AIDS is largely a sexually transmitted disease; however, it is not solely the disease of the sexually promiscuous, although such people stand a greater risk of infection. Millions of children have been born with the disease through no fault of their own, while others have contracted the virus through blood transfusion or intravenous needle-sharing with infected persons. What is evident is that HIV/AIDS has emerged as the disease of the poor both in developed and developing nations.One important factor regarding the spread of AIDS is government intervention and public responsibility. In rich countries, governments spend millions of dollars educating people and funding research to find a cure for the deadly disease. An MSNBC news report of July 5, 2005, states that the U.S. government passed a law that required all expectant mothers to undergo an HIV/AIDS test. The purpose was to protect unborn babies from contracting the virus from mothers who may be infected.This was a great preventative measure that served as the first line of defense against the disease in children. The government could pass this act because it had the resources to carry out the tests. But it is one thing to diagnose a disease and another thing to offer a cure to the afflicted. About 39 million Americans do not have health insurance, meaning that they do not have access to quality healthcare. If any of them contracts the HIV/AIDS virus, he would not know that he is a carrier and would unknowingly pass it on to partners. Thus even in the richest country in the world, the danger of AIDS is a factor of poverty.Some attributed infection to witchcraft or action by angry ancestors.The situation is worse in poor countries, where governments cannot fund research or import retroviral drugs to...

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