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Life Expectancy In South Africa And Hiv/Aids

1126 words - 5 pages

Life expectancy is the average period that a person may expect to live. This is directly related to mortality which is the amount of deaths in a particular population during a specific period of time (OECD, 2009). According to World Health Organization the average Life expectancy in the world was 70 in 2011, varying from 80 to 60 with developed countries such as Japan at the peak with 80 whereas developing countries like Uganda and South Africa are at close to the bottom with 43 and 63 respectively (WHO, 2014). It can be argued that life expectancy has a close relationship with the average income of a country (Wilkinson, 1992). Countries with low life expectancy are usually characterized by ...view middle of the document...

Although AIDS has several mode of transmission, sexual transmission is arguably the most significant.
With the increase in HIV/AIDS infected persons in South Africa posing a problem to life expectancy, a possible solution is the use of the antiretroviral therapy. In the United States, widespread and proper use of highly active antiretroviral therapy for the treatment of HIV/AIDS has led to dramatic decreases in HIV related mortality (Stone, 2001). Findings from a study carried out in 2008 suggest that the potential loss of life associated with the failure to provide Antiretroviral Therapy to all who need it, in South Africa alone, is enormous (Hargreaves, et al., 2001). It was projected that 1.2million lives out of a population of 48million will be lost in 2012 (Walensky, et al., 2008). A survey conducted in Cape Town South Africa shows that there was a 50 percent suppressant of the virus after one year of antiretroviral treatment which significantly reduced the death rate (Orrell, et al., 2003). The Antiretroviral therapy involves administering dosages of antiretroviral drugs combination under a specific schedule. However the development of a new resistant AIDS virus which could destroy the immune system faster may occur if the combination of drugs is not administered properly (Hargreaves, et al., 2001). This might pose a serious problem to life expectancy though the benefit from proper therapy outweighs that of the problems.
Another possible solution to low life expectancy in South Africa is the use of condoms. With an aim to reduce new HIV/AIDS infection by 50 percent in South Africa, prevention is at the heart of a new National Strategic Plan (SouthAfrica Info, 2012). Between 2002 and 2008 there was a record of a slight increase in condom use among people aged 15 – 49 from 70.8 percent to 75.2 percent respectively (HSRC, 2009). A WHO study carried out in 2004 shows that proper and consistent use of condom reduces the risk of HIV infection by 95 percent (Holmes, et al., 2004). Though the use of condoms can be effective in preventing AIDS related mortality, there is the problem with acceptance of condoms. The problem with acceptance stem from religious and sociocultural ideologies (HSRC, 2009). It may be argued that the use of condom or campaigns on its use may encourage promiscuity which is frowned upon by Christian population.
In conclusion, Life expectancy in the South Africa fares poorly in comparisons with the...

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