AIDS EPIDEMIC IN AFRICA
AIDS, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, is a set of symptoms and illnesses that develop as a result of advanced HIV infection which has destroyed the immune system. It can be transmitted through sexual contact, pregnancy, child birth, and breastfeeding.
Before the 2000s
AIDS did not reach epidemic levels until the early 1980s, which was due to a combination of widespread labor migration, high amounts men in the urban populations, low status of women, lack of circumcision, and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in East Africa. By the 1990s, infection rates increased drastically in Southern Africa. Prevention campaigns had little effect and there was little possibility for effective treatment in Africa. By 1999, the Kenyan President Daniel Arap Moi declared AIDS a national disaster.
“AIDS is not just a serious threat to our social and economic development, it is a real threat to our very existence, and every effort must be made to bring the problem under control.”
Around four million new infections occurred during 2000s. More than 20 million sub-Saharan African were living with AIDS, but only about 8,000 were being treated.
The WHO, the World Health Organization, announced the “3 by 5” an initiative made in December of 2003 to bring HIV treatment to 3 million people by 2005. Between 2003 and 2005, the number of sub-Saharan Africans to be treated increased from 100,000 to 810,000 people. From 2001 and 2004 global funding for AIDS heightened from $1.8 billion to $6.1 billion. Countries such as Botswana had a 95% treatment for those affected, however countries such as Nigeria only had 15% in 2005.
It was estimated in 2007 that since the beginning of the epidemic more than 15 million Africans had died from AIDS , equivalent to the combined populations of London and New York
Mnay countries still have limited access to treatment. People continue to feel the impact of AIDs.