Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the so called HIV, is still one of the most influential global health issues. According to the investigations of WHO (2011), it is estimated that approximately 34 million people were infected and 25 million people died because of HIV and related diseases. However, the numbers are still increased by 2.7 million of the newly affected and 1.8 million of death per year (Averting HIV and AIDS, n.d.). The hardest hit area is sub-Saharan Africa, where about one of twenty adults are HIV positive (WHO, 2012). It is the highest number among all the countries. Moreover, Central Asia and Eastern Europe are where the epidemic of HIV spreads fast as well (Averting HIV and AIDS, n.d.). Despite of the developing countries, HIV is still a major problem for the developed countries. It is reported by Averting HIV and AIDS (n.d.), that the United State is accounting for one million HIV infections of the total number and in the UK, the rate of new cases of HIV is still rising. The figures show that HIV continues to be a serious global health issue and there are numbers of factors to causing it. This essay will discuss the causes that are related to HIV, namely the economy, the politics, the environment and the society and it will suggest how they can be solved.
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The economic factors, such as: the poverty in low- and middle-income countries and the economic crisis in the donor countries which are related to HIV differ from country to country. First, the poverty in poor countries contributes to the lack of money for the health care system which results in unsafe blood transfusion and shortage of antiretroviral drugs, which then leads to rise in both infection and death rates. According to the World Health Organization (2011), only 48% of blood supplies in low- and middle-income countries have done the screening practices in 2009. In India, one of the risk factors leading to HIV infection is infected blood transfusion (Narain et al, 1994). Furthermore, unsafe blood transfusion because of a lack of blood quality test is the second large problem which leads to HIV infection in Asia (Brown & Mulhall & Sittitrai, 1994). In addition, antiretroviral medicines in 38% of middle and low income countries was out of stock for a while in 2009 (WHO, 2011). Second, the economic crisis in the donor countries leads to the decrease of funding for HIV. Meanwhile, the world’s need is increasing and most of the global funding comes from donor countries. Therefore, the world infection and death rates rise. It is reported by World Health Organization (2011) that the financing of HIV programs increased from 1600 million US dollar in 2001 to 15 900 million US dollar in 2009. However, due to the economic crisis, the donor countries such as the USA reduce the donations by large companies and foundations (USAID, 2009). Although, the economic impacts on HIV are different for countries of different economic levels, the consequences of these are similar and need to be solved.
In terms of the individual level, the economic causes to HIV are also different, for example, sex for money for poor people and sex tourism for wealthy people. First, the low incomes use their bodies for money or support which significantly increases the rate of HIV infection. According to Brown (2004), some girls in Sub-Saharan Africa earn money by selling their bodies which is known as “survival sex”. It is reported by Averting HIV and AIDS (n.d.) that sex workers have high rate of becoming HIV positive in different countries, usually higher than other people. Moreover, in parts of Asia, many sex workers are HIV positive, and this is connected to HIV epidemic (Averting HIV and AIDS, n.d.). In spite of the high infecting possibility, they cannot afford the expensive medical treatment once they are infected. Finally, some rich people spend holiday in countries which have HIV epidemic which intensifying their possibility of HIV infection. According to UNAIDS (2010), about 50% of the people who are newly infected with HIV are accounted by heterosexual transmission in Central Europe are infected abroad. Tourists are huge clients of Caribbean’s sex industry (Averting HIV and AIDS, n.d.). Another risk factor that influences the infection rate among rich people is that they are more likely to have multiple sex partners. It is put forward by Johnson and Budlender (2002) that people who earn more are more likely to obtain multiple sex partners which increase the possibility they can get HIV. However, this situation is hardly to deal with because every society has poor people, regardless of developing or developed countries, while rich people are difficult to limit their behaviour.
Along with the economic causes, there are also a number of political factors attributed to HIV transition. One of the political problems making the HIV became a global disease is the loophole in the government policies, causing many people from developing countries move into the host countries. Although there are many laws, for example, the congress in the U.S passed a quota with enormous effect on people from Asian, Russia, and Europe (Whitman, n.d.). These laws have been set up to protect people who live in some countries having a large number of expatriates or immigrants, and the AIDS carriers play an important role in the transmission of HIV (Whitman, n.d.). In term of a research, in Canada’s immigrant policy, there are enormous loopholes which can be used by many bogus refugees who carry the HIV virus to get into Canada (Dirks, 2006). For example, of the delegates to the AIDS conference who have claimed refugee status, it is known that at least one of those, a delegate from Eritrea, is infected with the HIV virus and has already started treatment in Toronto and his situation will not prevent him from being accepted if the IRB, Canada’s largest independent administrative tribunal, finds him to be a refugee (Dirks, 2006). This means that the loophole in the government policies can make people feel disappointed with the government. It is shown that government should take measures instantly. Another example caused by the governments’ carelessness is the illegal Mexican and Central American immigrants. According to Wagner and Amato (2010), in spite of the number of Central American migrants crossing Mexico to reach the United States has decline almost 70 percent over the last five years, it does not show that is an optimistic condition, however, the local government does nothing, although they were aware of this outcome. This shows the governments need to restrict the illegal immigrants.
Another political factor is the lack of political control of blood transmission. For example, governments in developing countries do not pay attention to the safety measures and disinfections in the hospitals. This means many people can easily get infected by sharing syringes or using dirty needles. According of a WHO (2000), there are 21 million hepatitis B injection, 2 million hepatitis C injections and 260,000 HIV cases caused by reuse of syringes. In addition, people in some communities, do not know about the risk given by the re-use needle. Government should apply strict control on the hospitals. In Russia, the government uses some political force to protect people. Russian government should do much more to prevent the spread of HIV among an estimated two million drug users (Galpin, 2009). It is believed that there are 1 million people getting HIV by sharing the needles (Galpin, 2009). Although the chief medical official of Russia admits the epidemic coming from the HIV and insists it is not the legal loophole, the disease spreads because the lack of the governments’ control. This proves that the governments need to make the law firmer and strengthen the control.
The other factor causing HIV is the psychological status. Psychological factors contribute to the spread of HIV among women. Women, especially in urban areas, experiencing some psychological health matters or traumatic events take up a high proportion of HIV transmission such as sexual behavior, injection drug use etc. Heavy psychological stress may result in unhealthy mental status. Women, who have been abused, are likely to suffer from mental diseases, for instance, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which may affect their behavior and attitude towards HIV (Sharp et al., 2008). For example, women who have personal traumatic experiences are more possible to have high risk sex that can enlarge the possibility of HIV infection (Sharp et al., 2008). It is also mentioned by Sharp S. et al. (2008) that there are more HIV infected people among individuals who have traumas before than normal people. That means some individuals who are infected HIV are frantic and they are not aware the consequences. Due to this behavior, they will probably become HIV infected and transmit the virus to others. In Canada, about 42% women have HIV by injecting drugs, and in America the rate is 19% (Sharp et al., 2008). However, the Canadian aboriginals not only use drugs themselves, but also contract HIV from their sexual patterns who injecting drugs (Sharp et al., 2008). In summary, women who have psychological matters need to be treated and informed about the risks or the illness.
Moreover, chronic anxiety, panic, stress and depression can lead to injure immunologic function which has an impact on HIV. These psychological diseases are harmful to peoples’ health. Mental stress increases the content of hormone cortisol, more cortisol in the body decline T cells rapidly. In the relation to this cortisol will increase 20-fold than normal period. This high level risk may result in dangerous infections and high rate of death. Some people have AIDS-phobia and they do not have medical checks and thus they are not aware of the fact they carry the virus. The symptoms of that type of phobia include weight loss, wasting, decrease T cells counts and other signs considered indicative AIDS. Professor Dorian also thinks that a beneficial psychological status can have a positive result for a disease (The Unhived Mind Website, 2006). Above all, both psychological diseases and conditions can affect HIV, people in urban areas especially women have a high rate of infection. That means psychology has a significant effect on HIV. Facing the enormous pressure of mental aspects, HIV transmission can spread in short order because of people who have mental diseases lead to the proliferation of virus.
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There are also several problems need to be solved among social causes. Migration which is a society factor which causes harm, such as irregular sexual relations, poor living conditions and the virus spread by women whose husband left them. According to the UNAIDS (2010), the male migrant workers who were reported in Carletonville, a city in South Africa, only 5.4% of them have regular partners. The proportion of the male migrants who had at least one casual partner were over 50%, and there are 53% of the female migrants who have sex with strangers for money, so most migrant workers were often infected with HIV because of this kind of irregular relationship. People who changed the accommodation are three times more likely to contract HIV, (UNAIDS¼Œ2010) .This means poverty causes frequent immigrations and then unreasonable sexual relations occur, in developed countries this cannot happen very often. Migrant workers usually do not have decent living conditions. They are incessantly put in barracks and single-sex hostels to live, such as gold miners, as UNAIDS (2010) shows, 90% of the black employees are migrants and 89% of them live in single-sex hostels. This means that they have to leave their spouses or regular sexual partners. These people often engage in casual sexual relationship, so HIV is easier to spread in such conditions. Moreover, UNAIDS (2010) mentions that in many migrant couples. The female partner is continually HIV positive, so this means that women need more income when their husbands leave them and sex is an easier way to earn a living.
Injecting drugs, involving into sex work and sexing between males are the causes of HIV wide spread, such as in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. About one quarter of 3.7 million of people who inject drugs live with AIDS virus because of sharing needles and poor injection quality. In the Russian Federation, more than 37% of drug users were deemed to have HIV (Johnson and Budlender, 2002). Injectors without disinfection often have residual blood and blood transmission is a simple way for next user to infect HIV. Drug users are constantly with irrational sexual relationships. A high HIV infection level is found in Ukraine because 14% to 31% of sex workers almost inject drugs at the same time (Johnson and Budlender, 2002). This leads to AIDS virus diffuse without difficulty. About 45% of people living with HIV in Ukraine were women until 2009, compared with 41% in 2004 and 37% in 1999 (Johnson and Budlender, 2002). This is a rapid growth and it is easy to know that there is not enough sense of security and money for women. Urban men who have sex with men occupy more than 10% in twelve countries as well as Costa Rica. In Central America about 5.1% of them are infected with AIDS virus. In 23 European countries, the number of men who have sex with men from 2000 to 2006 increased by 86 % (Johnson and Budlender, 2002). This means the society becomes more equal and less discrimination, but all together necessary protection needs to be known to avoid infecting the virus.
In conclusion, the factors that affect HIV infection exist in aspects which include the economy, the politic, the psychology and the society. In terms of economy, the causes differ between both countries and individuals. The poverty of individuals and countries, the decreasing donation due to the economic crisis and the sex tourism and multiple sex partners for wealthy people are the main points that are presented in the assignment. The possible way to solve these problems is to develop policies and laws to help the poor and restrict the rich. Political problems can also cause HIV become a global disease. Two important factors are the faultiness of immigrant policies and drug use without the governments’ controlling. Tons of observable facts show that the government in those countries should give more emphasis on this problem. Many people addicting in drug has been a new cause leading to HIV become the global disease. These all show that the government in those countries should give more emphasis on this problem. Psychological factors means that people have much pressure especially in urban areas. They have mental or other diseases which result in HIV directly. To solve this issue, people live under stress or have psychological diseases should relax themselves and attempt to avoid pressure. Last of all, migration, drugs and irregular sexual relationship for social aspect can cause HIV become a global issue, too. One solution for the government is to formulate policies to increase the employment rate. When people have jobs, they can get a more regular life and there will be less drug addicts. Another way is to strengthen the management of drug and educate people necessary knowledge about protecting themselves from HIV. Therefore, it can be concluded that HIV is a significant global health issue that needs to be deal with carefully and efficiently. Although it needs time to make a difference, both governments and individuals need to participate in the approach and be consistent to make progress in the future.
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