Hiv/Aids: In The Global Community

Hiv/Aids: In The Global Community

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jscreationzs at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is a global problem. In 1996, the World Health Organization reported that there were 21 million cases of HIV infection around the world. As many as 40 to 60 million cases are expected by the year 2000. So many people are infected with HIV, that it is considered a world-wide epidemic.

Hiv/Aids: In The Global Community

 

 
Although many think of HIV as an infection of gays and IV drug users, over 75% of the cases worldwide are due to sexual contact between a man and woman. New cases are occurring most rapidly in the developing nations within Africa, Asia, and South and Central America.
There are around 14 million cases of HIV in southern African countries such as Uganda and Zaire. Equal numbers of men and women are infected there. A big problem there is the infection is passed from mother to child. Many children who escape HIV are left orphaned by their infected parents.
The United States, Europe, and Australia have stable rates of infection. This means that the same number of people die each year from AIDS as new people are infected with the virus. The U.S. currently has around one million cases. While the number of those infected is stable, the risk factors for acquiring HIV are changing.
Those groups that are developing new HIV infections fastest include:

  • minority heterosexual women
  • women who are partners of intravenous drug users
  • young adults and
  • young gay men

People who live with HIV face many difficulties such as:

  • cost of medications and medical care to treat their illness
  • assistance required to help with activities of daily living
  • prejudice, fear, and scorn by many people just because they are HIV-positive

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