The Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a very devastating virus that affects people throughout the world. HIV is believed to have originated in Africa and was exposed to man through the blood of infected animals. According to The Joint United Nations are some treatments that prevent the virus from becoming the more deadly AIDS. The HIV virus is transmitted in various ways which include sexual contact, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and the medical use of unsterile needles. HIV can be contacted by sexual contact through heterosexual and homosexual sex.
There is a large correlation between taboo sex acts and HIV infection. If an HIV-positive person has condomless anal sex with a partner, the chances of the partner getting infected with the virus increase astronomically. The virus can be transmitted from an infected mother to the child through pregnancy and breastfeeding; there’s a stigma that HIV-positive individuals are gay or they can only get it through sexual contact but that has been debunked in recent years as we know that the virus can be contacted through several avenues. The vast majority of people living with the HIV virus are in poor countries especially in Africa where there are increased secret homosexual sex, higher prevalence of prostitution and IV drug use.
As a citizen and resident of the Republic of Nigeria for eleven years, I saw firsthand the prevalence of prostitution in the streets and I can confidently say that I never saw a condom in my years living in Nigeria which is very surprising in retrospect. There are four main etiological factors of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Firstly, unprotected sex including homosexual and heterosexual sex between an infected partner, and a non-infected partner. Secondly, Blood transfusions from HIV contaminated blood. Thirdly, Unsanitary use of needles especially amongst drug users.
Lastly, mother to child transmission. The risks that HIV presents to the community in the future are that it leads to lower life expectancy especially for those in lower-income/poor countries, and it leads to an increased amount of the population affected with the virus throughout the world. Another risk in the future, in my opinion, is that the cost of outreach services will increase which might become a dissuading factor for a lot of the agencies that currently try to get into the communities and the world to educate these unfortunate people that are highly susceptible to HIV about risk factors and prevention methods.
The human immunodeficiency virus has no cure as of today so the only way to solve this problem is Education and Prevention. There are several ways to preventing HIV which include male circumcision, lesser sexual partners, condom use, abstinence, HIV testing, and treatment of other sexually transmitted infections. All of these prevention methods are not too effective in truly preventing HIV efficiently. The purest and most effective way of preventing HIV is by preaching abstinence but it is incredibly hard to convince a vast majority people to refrain from having sex entirely which is where condom use comes into play. Condom use is effective especially for sexual workers and homosexuals in countries where HIV is prevalent. As effective as condom use is, it gets uncomfortable for sexual partners that have been together for a while so condom use is hard for a couple to consistently use. HIV testing isn’t so effective because of the so-called HIV window period which is the time in which an infected person won’t test positive for the virus which is detrimental for whoever the infected person comes across sexually. Two of the most effective ways to prevent Human Immunodeficiency Virus include male circumcision and reducing multiple sexual partnerships. There have been over forty observational studies over the past twenty years that have been done in Africa that have shown that male circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection significantly.
People have to be willing to receive these services if these programs are to be successful. Through educational outreaches in these communities, lots of African couples have been happy to get their husbands or male partners circumcised. In parts of west Africa including the southern countries of Swaziland and Botswana, male circumcision have been successful coupled with condom use and fewer sexual partners have proved to be successful in preventing the spread of the virus. In Kenya and Uganda, there has been campaigns that promote and encourage people to reduce the amounts of sexual partners they keep to prevent HIV prevalence in these communities. A Zero Grazing campaign that was launched in Uganda found that with the reduction of sexual partners, there was HIV decline in the area. In the United States, this method has proved to be instrumental with the gay community in decline of HIV. Promoting the reduction of sexual partners doesn’t just help with the decline of HIV but also it helps couple stay devoted to each other and enforces fidelity in communities. As beneficial as this method has been in Africa, there’s still a long way to go due to the prevalence of polygamous marriages in some Islamic African countries. Possible ways to combat resistance in more reluctant communities is through the herd immunity method of convincing people door to door which can make the resistant succumb to the pressure of being left out. (Potts, et al., 2008, pp. 2-4)
Since there is not presently a cure for HIV the only remedy is prevention through education. Most of the prevention programs that are implemented in various communities around the world are meant to educate older people. The best ways to ensure that people take heed to what they are told is by starting to educate folks at a young and tender age since the information would have marinated into their brains. One of the programs that have been implemented in most african countries especially are school-based programs that teach HIV prevention strategies that mostly target young people. There are cultural barriers in these African countries with conservative mindsets. In Nigeria, for example, they don’t teach about having safe sex, they instead teach about complete abstinence. Teaching complete abstinence is detrimental to people who choose to rebel against this principle which makes them more susceptible to being infected with HIV.
To prevent HIV from being prevalent in the future, schools should be more active in educating the youth on HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, and they shouldn’t shy from advising parents to do the same at home. In South Africa, schools have begun to enforce this programs and the results won’t be seen overnight but over time the results of these programs will be evident to be extremely significant in preventing HIV prevalence in the future. In South Africa, there is also a program to ensure that teachers teach their students about sexuality. In almost all African countries, being anything but heterosexual is a taboo that can be punishable by death so this program in South Africa is very instrumental in putting an end to the stigma that comes with being gay in Africa. and clean needles for those that do drugs would be a great way to preventing HIV in the future. Most African countries are conservative, they don’t educate their citizens about the benefits of using condoms during sex because they mostly preach abstinence. People hate being told what to do, so It would be better to give them options so that they do what they do in a safer way.
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