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  • Latest Untitled AIDS Epidemic Update
  • Untitled AIDS ravages the United States & the West : Untitled [1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 ]
  • Untitled AIDS spreads around the world : Untitled [ 1 - 2 - 3 ]
  • Untitled Fighting HIV/AIDS in Less Developed Countries : Untitled [ 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 ]
  • Untitled Twenty years of struggle against AIDS
  • Untitled HIV biology and challenges in fighting the virus
  • Untitled The Future of the AIDS Epidemic
  • Role of the Untitled AIDS Primer and Untitled AIDS Primer (International)
    Please click on AIDS Primer, if you do not see the A-Z navigation links, specific for this section. This page is a part of a much larger website -- "Treasures of the Internet" -- that includes other health-related sections, as well as other more general sections on the arts, literature, science, etc. If this is your first visit, please read "navigating this site", for further guidance.
      Untitled Untitled AIDS spreads around the world : Untitled
      1. Untitled World Overview
      2. Untitled World Dichotomy
      3. Untitled "Root Causes" of the World AIDS Epidemic

      3: Untitled Epidemiology and Root Causes of the World AIDS Epidemic . The epidemiologies of HIV infection around the world is under intense investigation. It is evident that international travel and "sex tourism" contributed to the worldwide spread of the disease. This is consistent with the similarity of the HIV strains found in the United States and Europe.

      A number of evidence indicate that the AIDS epidemic in Africa has a different origin. Many countries in Africa, where the disease became very rampant, have not been favorite destinations among Americans and other Western travelers. This is especially because of the on-going civil strifes in many of the countries in Africa during the 1980's and 1990's. Moreover, some of the HIV strains found in Africa are different from those prevalent in the United States and European countries. This further supports a different epidemiology of the spread of HIV in Africa. In fact, there are HIV strains, e.g. HIV-2, that are endemic in specific regions, suggesting unique local or regional spread of HIV infection.

      The complications of HIV infection was first diagnosed among gay men and still the most predominant situation in many Western countries. In other parts of the world, HIV infection occurs at a high rate through heterosexual transmission. In fact, in Sub-Saharan Africa more women (55%) than men are infected with HIV1. Because of the prevalence of heterosexual transmission, in regions like Sub-Saharan Africa, pregnant women have transmitted the virus to their newborn during the delivery or breastfeeding.

      Earlier inaction among some leaders in less developed countries may have contributed to why most of the 36 million living with HIV/AIDS in the world now reside in less developed countries, especially Sub-Saharan Africa. Even today, the political leaders of some countries are loathe to consider that HIV is responsible for AIDS.

      However, there are many contributory factors that contributed to the uncontrolled spread of the AIDS epidemic in other parts of the world. The vestiges of centuries of colonialism left very unstable feudal structures, failed socio-economic and political systems, where wealth and political power are concentrated in the very few. The result is endemic poverty among the majority of the population. The latter fostered mass discontent, political instability and unrest leading to civil strifes. In turn, civil strifes formented mobility among the general population.

      Politically instability in many of the less developed countries also led to the prominence of the "military culture". Rape or sexual servitude are common during civil strifes among warring forces. Military personnels, because of their mobility and practices, are among the more susceptible targets, as well as source, of HIV infection.

      A cursory look at the demographic map of HIV infection shown above reveals some correlation with very unstable areas around the world, Sub-Saharan Africa, Caribbean (Haiti), Central America, Asia (Cambodia & Myanmar). Thailand, although not as unstable as its neighbors was the mecca of refugees from the neighboring countries.

      Poverty also led to forced servitude and prostitution. This is most evident in Thailand which became entrenched as the "pleasure capital" in Asia, as a result of the Vietnam war. Sex workers are among the most vulnerable to, as well as the source of, HIV infection.

      Despair from impoverished conditions also formented drug use where they are readily available. Drug use among the poor encourages prostitution to support the habit. These are evident in Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand which are at or near the drug production or trade route centers in Asia. The alarming increase of HIV infection in some of the Eastern European & Central Asian countries is also be attribute to the combination of increased injection drug use and prostitution.

      In many countries Sub-Saharan Africa, the combination of drought, famine and prolonged civil strifes compounded the problem. Civil war and famine also created the refugee problem, requiring the "herding" of people; thus creating a density situation that can contribute to spread of disease. Demographic analysis in the United States showed greater proportion of HIV infection in more dense urban areas.

      In some countries, certain cultural practices and traditions, such as circumcision, tattooing, breast feeding, etc. contributed to the spread of the disease. The subservience of women and certain sexual practices are also important factors in the heterosexual transmission of the disease. Even the custom of "widow inheritance", i.e., taking the wife of a dead relative, once a venerated cultural tradition to stabilize the society by avoiding destitution of the widowed wife, became a fertile mechanism of spreading the disease.

      All the above factors created the conditions that led to rapid spread of the HIV infection in many of the less developed countries.

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  • Latest Untitled AIDS Epidemic Update
  • Untitled AIDS ravages the United States & the West : Untitled [1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 ]
  • Untitled AIDS spreads around the world : Untitled [ 1 - 2 - 3 ]
  • Untitled Fighting HIV/AIDS in Less Developed Countries : Untitled [ 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 ]
  • Untitled Twenty years of struggle against AIDS
  • Untitled HIV biology and challenges in fighting the virus
  • Untitled The Future of the AIDS Epidemic
  • Role of the Untitled AIDS Primer and Untitled AIDS Primer (International)
    Please click on AIDS Primer, if you do not see the A-Z navigation links, specific for this section. This page is a part of a much larger website -- "Treasures of the Internet" -- that includes other health-related sections, as well as other more general sections on the arts, literature, science, etc. If this is your first visit, please read "navigating this site", for further guidance.


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    Footnotes: Untitled
    1. Untitled For a more comprehensive overview, visit the latest AIDS Epidemic Update, from UNAIDS. View also a poster demographics of AIDS worldwide, from 1984 - 1999.

    2. Untitled Caution & Disclaimer: The primary sites cited in the "A to Z navigation links", as well as in the major sections (see left navigation links), were written or compiled by scientists and clinicians, but some of the hyperlinked sites (within the primary links) were not always written by scientists nor clinicians. Also, the contents of some of the hyperlinked sites were not always based from scientific research or clinical trials but more from personal experience of or interpretation of the literature by people with HIV/AIDS or caregivers and others with interest about the disease. Therefore, exercise caution when using any information provided. Be sure to discuss them with your primary health care provider.

      Because of the nature of some forms of the transmission of HIV, the language used in some of the hyperlinked sites can be very explicit.
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    Untitled       First Written: 19990118       Latest Update: 20060328 Untitled
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