Global Scourge: The AIDS Crisis in the Developing World

By Meeks, Jim | Harvard International Review, Fall 1998 | Go to article overview

Global Scourge: The AIDS Crisis in the Developing World


Meeks, Jim, Harvard International Review


JIM MEEKS, Staff Writer, Harvard International Review

After reading newspaper beadlines and listening to the rhetoric of public bealth officials, politicians, and pharmaceutical companies, the US public appears to have justified optimism: after nearly two decades of annually increasing death counts, AIDS (Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome) appears to be a defeatable disease after all. This year in the United States, deaths from AIDS-related symptoms fell by 44 percent from last year; last year's statistics indicate a 14 percent decrease from the year before. This marks the first two-year decline since the onslaught of the epidemic was observed in the early 1980s.

Doctors and officials at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have attributed this remarkable trend to the advent of new prescription pharmaceuticals recently introduced into the market. Although no cure has been found, a steady diet of what are known as "drug cocktails"--mixtures of newer drugs called protease inhibitors (such as the antivirals 3TC and d4T, Bactrima, and Viarcrat) with the older AZT treatment--can raise the T-cell count of AIDS patients to sustainable levels, thus increasing the patients' life spans. (T-cells are the immuno cells the virus destroys). The result has been a decrease in AIDS-related deaths across all demographic groups in the United States. Additionally, state governments and the federal government have substantially subsidzied the cost of the treatment to low-income carriers of the virus. Yet the optimistic numbers have prematurely led public officials and the public to believe that the fight against AIDS, the deadliest sexually transmitted disease in modern history, is coming to an end. In reality, the worst is yet to come.

While the United States' AIDS death count has fallen by nearly 50 percent, the world death count has increased by 50 percent; as the United States is winning its first battles in the nearly two decade long battle with AIDS, the rest of the world has steadily regressed in the struggle. With 30 million people infected, and 2.3 million dying annually, the continued threat of the disease's spread in developing nations and its predicted explosion in modernizing nations demands that developed nations continue to fight to prevent its spread in less developed parts of the world.

Underestimating the Problem

The optimism of new advances in the United States hardly affects the developing nations of Africa and Southeast Asia. In fact, the news is getting steadily worse. The United Nations announced in a recent study that their prior estimates of the international growth rate of AIDS were grossly understated--the study shows that 16,000 people a day are infected with the virus, as opposed to the previously estimated figure of 8,200. To date, 2.7 million children have died from AIDS worldwide; last year alone, the disease claimed 460,000 children. Four million people in India suffer from HIV infection. In South Africa, 12 percent of all adults (approximately three million people), are infected with HIV, double the percentage of three years ago. In sub-Saharan Africa, the location of 90 percent of the world's AIDS-related deaths, the disease will claim at least 20 million more lives. More startling, 90 percent of African patients are unaware of their infection because of the lack of available testing. These numbers, alarming for any population, are especially dangerous for developing nations. Whereas the disease in the United States represents a devastating public health liability, AIDS is not only dangerous to those infected in developing nations, but, as a recent report from the World Bank stated, it is significantly "reversing decades of progress in improving the quality of life" in those nations. In Zimbabwe, for example, the proliferation of AIDS among the younger population has reduced the average life expectancy by 22 years.

The most devastating repercussions, however, concern the next generation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Global Scourge: The AIDS Crisis in the Developing World
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.