1 Background to HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa remains the region of the world most severely impacted upon by HIV/AIDS. In 2008, Sub-Saharan Africa reported
67% of HIV/AIDS infections worldwide 68% of new HIV/AIDS infections among adults (with 40 percent of all new adults being children of 15+)91% of new HIV/AIDS infections among children
Fourteen million children have been orphaned in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 72% of the world’s HIV/AIDS-related deaths are located here. The situation is worse for girls and young women. In Kenya, young women between 15 and 19 years are 3 times more likely than males to be infected, and 20–24-year-old women are 5.5 times more likely to be living with HIV/AIDS than men in their age group. Among people aged 15–24 living in the United Republic of Tanzania, females are 4 times more likely than males to be living with HIV/AIDS. Women are more vulnerable because of their limitation to negotiate for when, how and where to have sex. Biologically, their sexual reproductive system makes infection more likely than men. Heterosexual intercourse remains the primary mode of HIV/AIDS transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the primary transmission of the disease to newborns and breastfed babies. There is increasing evidence that HIV/AIDS is transmitted by drug injection and men who have sex with men.
1.1 HIV/AIDS and Education
Education has proven to be vital in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Educated young people have decreased rates of infection, and better educated girls in particular, since rates of infection amongst teenage girls are five times higher than boys as presented in the previous section. Thus, HIV preventative education has become known as the ‘social vaccine’. Uganda is a good example of how HIV/AIDS related education in formal schooling, as well as community education programmes reduced prevalence rates from 18% in 1992 to 6% in 2002. Governments have introduced HIV-related educational programmes that include Lifeskills, Reproductive health programmes and other health interventions in schools. HIV/AIDS has had a big impact on pupils and teachers. Pupils have lost their parents to the disease and schools are facing the challenge of dealing with orphans and consequent high drop out rates amongst orphans who have lost one or both parent to the disease. Teachers have also been infected and are dying faster than they can be replaced.Use the player below to listen to this section:
1.2 Additional readings
Study the Table below and fill in the missing words in the next section.
|Adults and children living with HIV in SSA||Adults and children newly infected with HIV in SSA||% Adult prevalence (15–49 years) in SSA||AIDS-related deaths among adults and children in SSA|
|2009|| 22.5 million
| 1.8 million
| 1.3 million
|2001|| 20.3 million
| 2.2 million
| 1.4 million
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Test Your Knowledge Based on information from the previous page and also the table above, read the paragraph below and fill in the missing words. An estimated _____million adults and children were living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa at the end of 2009. This was a decrease of ____ million people from 2001. In 2009, ____% of adults aged 15-49-years were HIV positive and _____million people died of AIDS related. Overall, The rate of new infections has gone down from ____million in 2001 to ____million in 2009.
- Why do you think the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS has increased from 20.3 million in 2001 to 22.5 million in 2009?
- Why do you think the number of new infections has reduced from 2.2 million in 2001 to 1.8 million in 2009?
- Why do you think that more females than males are infected with HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa?
- What do you think are the problems that the 14 million orphaned children in Sub-Saharan Africa face?
In your journal, please comment on the following:
- Do you know the statistics concerning HIV/AIDS in your immediate community? If not, please check it out with community members.
- Walk around your community. Do you see any HIV/AIDS information on public display? If yes, do you think it is clear and adequate?
- How often do you and your family, friends and colleagues at work discuss HIV/AIDS? Should you be the one who starts and/or supports these conversations? Do you feel that you have the facts right?
- What are the myths about HIV/AIDS in your locality?