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Hiv/Aids In Botswana. Essay

1536 words - 6 pages

An estimated 25 million people in Africa were living with AIDS in 2003 (AIDS and HIV Statistics for Africa). In Botswana alone, the AIDS prevalence rate is an immense 36.5% (HIV and AIDS in Botswana). In Botswana, AIDS has been an ongoing epidemic since the first case reported in 1985 (HIV and AIDS in Botswana). AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which weakens a person's immune system causing them to be more susceptible to infectious diseases such as meningitis, pneumonia, the flu, and many other diseases. Though AIDS does not directly kill people, the infectious diseases will frequently become fatal. AIDS is transmitted through both homosexual and heterosexual intercourse, blood transfusions with HIV positive blood, sharing of infected needles, and HIV positive mothers passing the disease to their children during pregnancy or breastfeeding (Background on AIDS/HIV). There is no current cure for the virus but there are some drugs that are able to slow down the virus' effect on the immune system. As a start to controlling this epidemic, governments are pouring in money to find out the main causes of the rapid transmission of the HIV virus, and they are also educating the public on risks and facts about AIDS. The AIDS problem in Botswana, as well as many countries in Africa, is clearly due to the people's ignorance and the country's poverty. Ignorance appears to be the predominant cause to the alarming spread of AIDS in Botswana. In a survey of 18 and 19 year olds, it showed that only 15% of them knew of ways to protect themselves (AIDS in Africa). This clearly shows that most of the sexually active young people lack awareness of the risks of not protecting themselves, which causes an increase in the transmission of the virus. Many young girls do not even know that they are at risk, and in many cultures it is acceptable to partake in sexual activity with anyone. For example, when new men, such as new teachers, come to villages seeking jobs, the women compete for their attention. These men, through their many sexual relations, ignorantly do not use protection and put themselves and their sexual partner in extreme risk of transmitting the HIV virus (AIDS and HIV in Botswana). This ignorance of the risks of unprotected sexual intercourse leads to the transmission of the HIV virus among many of the men and women of African countries such as Botswana. Many people in Botswana are under the wrong perception that AIDS is a disease that only affects the homosexual population and those people who misuse drugs. This ignorance needs to be corrected by Botswana's government. Teaching programs need to be administered in the schools, teaching not just abstinence but also how to protect against contracting AIDS. Some fear that these teachings may justify indiscriminate sex, but they are actually educating the children and working to abate the transmission of AIDS. Since this country undoubtedly needs help with preventing more AIDS victims,...

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