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HIV in Africa The HIVAIDS epidemic has spread rapidly around the world More that 60 million people have been infected with HIV and each day approximately 14000 new infections occur HIV is not confined to wealthy and industrialized countries in fact the HIV epidemic has had the most severe results in the developing nations of the world Over 95 percent of people living with HIVAIDS live in low income countries where it is difficult to gain access to the necessary medical treatment Of all the regions in the world Sub-Saharan Africa seems to be hardest hit by HIV AIDS is the leading cause of death in this region and has reduced the average life expectancy by 10 years In 2001 23 million Africans died of HIVAIDS The epidemic is hardest to fight in this region because the resources and money needed is not available Although AIDS is most prevalent in this region only 16 of global AIDS research money goes to Africa Because of the widespread effects of HIVAIDS it is important that international commitment exists to end the epidemic AIDS is more than just a public health problem The epidemic has effects on the development of nations It can increase poverty create large numbers of orphans destroy the workforce and strain healthcare services Basic care in Africa for a person infected with AIDS can cost 2-3 times the patients annual income There is no cure for someone infected with HIVAIDS However there are ways to prevent the future spread of the virus UNAIDS which is a United Nations agency designed to report on and work against the AIDS epidemic promotes a comprehensive prevention plan This plan includes programs to promote behavior change increase condom use diagnose and treat opportunistic diseases target prevention against high risk groups and ensure a safe medical blood supply Prevention is probably the best way to fight the AIDS epidemic In addition to saving lives prevention saves dollars The cost
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