EAP Final Paper.HIV.SA

EAP Final Paper.HIV.SA - Ezekwem Obum Ezekwem Processor...

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Ezekwem Obum Ezekwem Processor Sizcek 5/5/2011 Cultural Practices vs. Medical Reality: HIV Epidemic 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; with young adults contributing the most to 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 modern medicine. The strong hold to traditional medical practice only makes the epidemic worse. Nevertheless, 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. The United States is a key contributor; 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; the PEPFAR plan would include South Africa and face a major obstacle in the country. The major obstacle to this plan is the fact that individuals that are affected by this virus tend to seek aid in their traditional practices and not in modern medicine.
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Ezekwem HIV/AIDS has the most devastating effect on the population of young adults and children in South Africa. 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 increased amount of sexually active young adults who do not take the proper precautions before engaging in sexual intercourse contributed to the high prevalence of the disease. It is the promiscuous lifestyle that creates a chain reaction of a high number of young adults living with the HIV virus, which then results in a high quantity of young adult deaths that in turns spikes up South Africa’s mortality rate. Another result of this promiscuous lifestyle of the young adult population in South Africa is the increase in rate of children born with HIV. In 2009, it was estimated that 330,000 kids were living with HIV. That number has doubled in the past 2 years. The number doubled because kids who are born with HIV had mothers who were
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EAP Final Paper.HIV.SA - Ezekwem Obum Ezekwem Processor...

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