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THE SOUTH AFRICA AIDS EPIDEMIC This is a paper on epidemics I have focused on the ever increasing AIDS epidemic in South Africa I cover what AIDS is and how it is contracted The factors causing it to affect South Africa much worse than its surrounding neighbors and what is happening to combat this modern epidemic It is believed that the HIV virus which causes AIDS first originated from Africa decades ago and today many would agree that this is the place where it is causing the most devastation Nearly 27 million of the 36 million people infected with AIDS worldwide are in Africa This number is a similar amount of Europeans who died of the Bubonic Plague in the fourteenth century The lifetime risk of dying from AIDS now is as high as 50 and the epidemic is increasing at an alarming rate South Africa has been hit especially hard Ten to twelve percent of adults are infected with HIV leading to a total of more than 42 million adults and children infected with the virus UNICEF reports note that almost one in four women aged between 15 and 24 are infected and one in ten men The current president Thabo Mbeki suggests that poverty is the main cause of AIDS but I believe that it is far from the only cause involved In this paper I will discuss the world-wide AIDS problem with specific reference to the devastation it is causing in South Africa In my interview with Tammy Oleson the Director of Nurses of Hospices Health Care in Stuart I asked her if she would compare the AIDS epidemic in South Africa to the bubonic plaque She responded by saying that Aids is a viral epidemic that spreads as a result of human behavior We can chose to modify our actions to prevent infection The Bubonic Plaque was an epidemic caused by a bacteria Infection spread amongst the people with no
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