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Aids In Sfrica

8 Pages 2056 Words

AIDS in Africa

As recently as 1990, there were some regions of the world that had remained relatively unscathed by AIDS. Today, however, there is not a single country around the world which has wholly escaped the AIDS epidemic. As the epidemic has matured, some of the developed nations which were hard hit by the epidemic in the 1980s such as the United States have reported a slowing in the rate of new infections and a stabilization among existing cases with lower mortality rates and an extension of post-diagnosis lifespan. However, despite the changing face of the global AIDS pandemic, one factor remains unchanged: no region of the world bears a higher AIDS-related burden than sub-Saharan Africa. This paper examines the demographic effects of AIDS in Africa, focusing on the hardest-hit countries of sub-Saharan Africa and considers the present and future impact of the AIDS epidemic on major demographic measures such as fertility, mortality, life expectancy, gender, age, and family structure. Although the sub-Saharan region accounts for just 10% of the world’s population, 67% (22.5 million) of the 33.4 million people living with HIV/AIDS in 1998 were residents of one of the 34 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, and of all AIDS deaths since the epidemic started, 83% have occurred in sub-Saharan Africa (Gilks, 1999, p. 180). Among children under age 15 living with HIV/AIDS, 90% live in sub-Saharan Africa as do 95% of all AIDS orphans. In several of the 34 sub-Saharan nations, 1 out of every 4 adults is HIV-positive (UNAIDS, 1998, p. 1). Taxing low-income countries with health care systems inadequate to handle the burden of non-AIDS related illnesses, AIDS has devastated many of the sub-Saharan African economies. The impact of AIDS on the region is such that it is now affecting demographics - changing mortality and fertility rates, reducing lifespan, and ultimately affecting population growth. Although Africa is the region of the world ha...

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