HIV/AIDS is a major public health concern and cause of death in Africa. Although Africa is inhabited by just over 14.7% of the world's population, it is estimated to have more than 88% of people living with HIV and 92% of all AIDS deaths in 2007. Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 16 million children under 18 have been orphaned by AIDS. Around 14.8 million of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa. In some countries which are badly affected by the epidemic a large percentage of all children, for example 16% of children in Zimbabwe and 12% in Botswana and Swaziland, are orphaned due to AIDS.
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has predicted outcomes for the region to the year 2025. These range from a plateau and eventual decline in deaths beginning around 2012 to a catastrophic continual growth in the death rate with potentially 90 million cases of infection.
Without the kind of health care and medicines (such as antiretrovirals) that are available in developed countries, large numbers of people in Africa will develop full-blown AIDS. They will not only be unable to work, but will also require significant medical care. This will likely cause a collapse of economies and societies.
It is a worldwide disgrace that governments continue to allow pharmaceutical companies to put profit above people. Patents on medications have prevented access to drugs as well as the growth in research for more affordable alternatives. Pharmaceutical companies insist that medication should be purchased through them. WHY IS THIS ALLOWED TO CONTINUE? ( I know why in terms of big business= lots of power, but ethically, morally WHY?)
We will look back on this period of time with such shame. Shame that as a society we allowed Pharmaceutical companies to allow innocent men , women, children and babies to die so they could increase their already bloated bank accounts.
By the time you finish reading this post 2 people will have died from HIV/AIDS in Africa.
If you get a chance buy a Red Ribbon today and help support the fight against HIV/AIDS. Help to put pressure on these companies to show compassion.