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Global Pandemic

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Global Pandemic

The social stigma that comes with HIV/AIDS is the biggest problem confronting the fight against the disease in Africa. Married men, who often have unprotected sex with several partners, come home to their wives who have little or no say in sex, or unable to insist on safe sex. Many communities do not have access to preventative information, technologies, and tools to support much needed behavior change.

In 2005, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) accounted for nearly 65% of the estimated 40.3 million global cases of HIV/AIDS. Although there is general awareness about the causes and prevention of HIV/AIDS in most of SSA, transmission of the disease is still widely prevalent.

Of the 4.9 million new cases of HIV/AIDS reported worldwide in 2005, 3.2 million (65%) of them came from SSA. This figure represents the largest number of new infections in a single year since the beginning of the pandemic. infection rates are much higher in marginalized communities.

Women in SSA have been shown to be more vulnerable to the disease than men. The risk of infection among women is 57% higher than that of men. Age also plays a part in the spread of the disease. Data suggests that females between the ages of 19 and 24 are three to six times more likely to be infected with HIV/AIDS.

While the western world has witnessed a rapid scale-up of access to antiretroviral drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS, only 1 in every 10 Africans in need of treatment received it by the end of 2005. There is the need for a similar scale-up access to treatment needed in SSA. On the other hand, prevention efforts have not resulted in appropriate behavior necessart to reverse the epidemic.(16)

U.N. reports put global HIV... [NPR.ORG] (17)