Final - Robert Chan SOCD 187 Professor Kohler December 12,...

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Robert Chan SOCD 187 Professor Kohler December 12, 2007 Final Part A: Essay 2 There are several causes and explanations for the HIV epidemic in Africa, but one major exacerbating effect is poverty. Poverty affects the local level for HIV and AIDS victims have no money for medication, for their families, for the community, or for the economy. Looking at the macro-level, neocolonialism and international financial institutions also hinder Africa from coming out of debt and overall, preventing the major HIV and AIDS pandemic. Poverty exacerbates HIV and AIDS mainly because there is no money for anti-viral medication. The government in South Africa, for example, was against giving AZT, a vaccine approved for the treatment of HIV and AIDS, to those who could not afford it. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was founded in 1998 and attempted to get the government to aid in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. More than 160 babies are born HIV positive everyday in South Africa and if they had access to AZT, many would be able to live healthy lives. In 1999, the African National Congress won the general election and the new president, Thabo Mbeki, was opposed to giving national aid via lowering the prices of AZT. This resulted in many protests and demonstrations against the government, which led to the agreement that health care should be granted as a basic human right. However, even with the TAC victory, the government still did
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little to help in the costs of AZT. The only way the TAC was able to get cheap medication into the country was to smuggle in generic brand AZT (Film, Patient Abuse ). Another way that poverty exacerbates HIV is due to the fact that there are very few developed hospitals in rural areas. In the film, Yesterday , the village had a clinic who was delegated the task of overseeing all patients, simply because there were no funds to hire additional help. It difficult for a patient to see the doctor because of long lines and oftentimes people were turned away. The issue here is portrayed in this self titled film, where by being turned away, Yesterday fainted after being untreated for so long. What is shown here is that poverty allows for HIV to go untreated, for reasons such as being short-staffed in clinics or long lines. If HIV is left alone, or even unaware, then the risks of it spreading or becoming full blown AIDS highly increases. As noted earlier, HIV and AIDS deepen and broaden household, community and national poverty. HIV and AIDS affect the household by debilitating the ones with the virus. HIV targets one’s immune system, and when an adult is no longer capable of working, the family loses income and food. Females are seen as primary caretakers and if they are single parents with HIV, there is often no one to care for her children. HIV and AIDS are especially devastating to women as there is a cultural taboo (implying that their partner is unfaithful) to ask their spouse to use a condom. We saw in the film Yesterday , that Yesterday did require her husband, John, to use a
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course SOC 187 taught by Professor Kohler during the Spring '08 term at UCSD.

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Final - Robert Chan SOCD 187 Professor Kohler December 12,...

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