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The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa - Research Paper Example

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Topic: HIV/AIDS pandemic in Sub –Saharan Africa, A focus on Kenya Name of student Lecturer Date of presentation Since Kenya made the first diagnosis of HIV infection in 1985, the country currently has an adult HIV prevalence rate of approximately 6.3% compared to sub-Saharan Africa that has 7.5% and the global prevalence rate of 1.1%.Young people and married couples are the hardest hit groups resulting to about 80,000 deaths from HIV related illnesses per year (Avert, 2010)…
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The HIV and AIDS epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa
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Download file to see previous pages In this respect, we must put a lot of focus on all segments of population, starting with the hardest hit groups. I expand on these findings in the following narrative. The country is one of the worst hit countries in the world by HIV/AIDS epidemic, with approximately 1.5 million people infected with HIV, and over 2.4 million children are orphans after their parents died of the pandemic. With a population of about 38 million people, the percentage of the total population infected by HIV/AIDS is about 5%. In 2009 alone, the country lost 80,000 people from complications arising from HIV infection (Avert, 2010). About 240 people die daily from the disease and according to OSIPHP (2007), over 50% of the total population in the country lack access to HIV preventive and management services. Only 33% of children in need of HIV preventive service have access to the necessary health care (Avert, 2010). In Kenya, the HIV/AIDS pandemic affects virtually all segments of the population directly or indirectly. The prevalence rate differs among specific demographic groups in accordance with age, location, and gender (USAID, 2010). Women account for about 65% of all adults living with HIV/AIDS in the country compared to sub-Saharan prevalence rate of 57% among women. In addition, the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in women is almost twice that of men in Kenya. Most of HIV infections in the country occur in young people aged between 15-30 years through heterosexual sex. However, the infection rate differs remarkably between males and females at different ages (USAID, 2010). According to Avert (2010), the highest proportion of Kenyan population becomes sexually active between the ages of fifteen and nineteen years and young women are more vulnerable compared to their male counterparts. Between 15-19 years, the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in young women is 2.7%, four times greater than of young men of the same age group. Similar trend is observed in women between 20-24 years, whereby 6.4% are infected, compared to about 1.5% of their male counterparts of the same age. However, the highest number of infections occurs in young women between a 15-24 years and men below 30 years (Avert, 2010). Kenyan people who engage in heterosexual sex are the most vulnerable group, and in regular relationship, they contribute to about 45% of new infections while casual heterosexuals accounts to about 21% of new infections (Avert, 2010). Other vulnerable groups include men who have sex with men and in prison population who account to about 15% of new infections. In addition, transmission through commercial sex, people who inject themselves with drugs and infections in health institutions account to 14%, 4% and 3% new HIV infections in Kenya respectively (USAID, 2010). Due to the high HIV prevalence rate among married couples and people in regular heterosexual relationships, many parents die leaving behind many children. In this respect, orphans and children living with HIV/AIDS account to a significant proportion of people affected with HIV/AIDS in Kenya. About 200,000 children are infected with HIV/AIDS while the number of children orphaned by AIDS is about 2.4 million in Kenya (USAID, 2010). The major risk factors that contribute to high rate of HIV/AIDS i ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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