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AIDS is the worst case disease scenario It is sexually transmitted and invokes almost complete conversational avoidance concerning the most intimate act It hits young adults just as the society had completed investing in their training and before any payback can occur It kills slowly and incurs high treatment and care costs even as the victim had time to bear two three even four children to be left orphaned AIDS attacks the immune system making it almost impossible for people in undeveloped countries to fight opportunistic disease and live to or exceed full life expectancy Richard Holbrooke Americas ambassador to the United Nations calls it the worlds biggest problemOf the thirty-four million people around the world who are infected with HIV the AIDS virus nearly seventy-five percent are in Africa and will die in the next five to eight years In some African nations fully one-fourth of the population is infected In surveys of seventeen African nations more than one-half of all those aged fifteen to nineteen could not identify a single method of protecting themselves against the virus AIDS is causing the death of many young adults The crisis is so immense that 300000 residents are walking around with the virus and do not know it Our initial reaction was public education about the disease and how it is spread Botswana Health Minister Joy Phumaphi says but that was not enough for people to initiate behavioral change Behavior and culture are the primary reasons AIDS is spreading like wildfire through the heterosexual community While HIV is stigmatized because the population believes it is an indication of unacceptably loose morals in fact the culture in many African nations openly tolerates both rampant male promiscuity and the routine exchange of sex for money by women There is also a myth that sex with a virgin will cure a person of the disease which leads to the rape and infection of children as young as twoIn Africa
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