Cultural Impact on the Treatment of HIV in South Africa

Cultural Impact on the Treatment of HIV in South Africa -...

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Ezekwem Cultural Impact on the Treatment of HIV in South Africa “No war on the face of the Earth is more destructive than the AIDS pandemic”(Changing the Present). This quote by Collin Powell vividly depicts the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. This virus has increased South Africa’s mortality rate from 29% in 1997 to 41% in 2006 (Impact of HIV upon South Africa). The populations most affected by this epidemic are the young adults and the children; where the young adults contribute the most in the increase of the mortality rate. The frequency of the virus in this population can also be attributed to the strong cultural mindset of these individuals and their reluctance to embrace medical reality. This population tends to seek healing from the virus by means of traditional medical practices instead of the modern medicine. However, even in the midst of this chaos, South Africans have a gleam of hope. This hope comes in the form of the aid provided by the global community to assist South Africa in its time of need. One such country is the United States; in 2004 president George W. Bush kicked of the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) (What is PEPFAR). The goal of this plan was to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic in countries with the highest rates of the incidence; South Africa is included in among the countries with the highest rate of the HIV/AIDS and therefore would benefit from this plan. Although, the move to provide South Africa with this form of aid is only the first step in the United States’ attempt to combat HIV/AIDS in South Africa. As mentioned earlier, individuals that are most affected by this virus tend to seek aid in their traditional practices and not in modern medicine. This strong bond to cultural practices within South African communities with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS epidemic will serve as challenges to PEPFAR aid from the United States. HIV/AIDS has the most devastating effect on the young adult and children population in South Africa. Because of this effect, the mortality rate of the country spiked between the years of 1997 where 316,559 people died, and 2006 where 607,184 people died (HIV and AIDS in South Africa). This increase in mortality rate is as a result of the large amounts of death incidents within the young adult population. In 1997, 29% of the country’s mortality rate was attributed to the young adult population. In 2006, 41% was attributed to the young adult population (HIV and AIDS in South Africa). The reason for this is the increase amount of sexually active young adults who do not take the proper precautions before engaging in sexual intercourse. This results in a
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course EAP N/A taught by Professor Professorsizcek during the Fall '10 term at GWU.

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Cultural Impact on the Treatment of HIV in South Africa -...

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