The HIV AIDS epidemic in Sub Saharan Africa affects 25 6 million individuals In this research proposal I intend to focus on the lasting impact that the Catholic Church's official discouragement of condom usage has had on the effective treatment and prevention of HIV AIDS in the region of Sub Saharan Africa Scholars have observed a paradox of low condom use in high HIV risk areas Most health organisations heavily recommend the use of male latex condoms in the prevention of HIV infection In consideration of the Catholic Church s prevalence and exponential growth in the region in conjunction with its soft power and institutional links to aid organisations much circumstantial reasoning has attributed this paradox in part to the teachings and actions of the Catholic Church It is recognised that the HIV AIDS global pandemic is the single largest public health issue in the world Therefore I think it is important that actors such as national governments aid and health organisations and other healthcare services have access to detailed research which explores all aspects of the epidemic including both individual sexuality on which most existing research is focused as well as the often overlooked impact of cultural and societal norms that affect sexual practices and sexual health awareness
I think that a fully rounded approach to the HIV AIDS pandemic is vital in enabling better prevention strategies As defined in this research proposal the term HIV AIDS refers to a continuum of disease Both the virus and the infection caused by the virus are referred to as HIV Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome AIDS is the end stage of HIV infection characterised by a susceptibility to other infections as a result of a weakened immune system Sexual transmission of HIV can be avoided at the first instance by preventative measures including wider provision of sex education reassessment of cultural practises such as multiple sexual partners ensuring that prophylactics i e condoms are available and promoted work among women in developing nations to challenge abusive sexual contact In trends over the past three decades Sub Saharan Africa has carried a disproportionate burden of the HIV AIDS epidemic Of the 36 7 million people living with HIV infection in the world as many as two thirds of those infected or 25 6 million people are living in the region of Sub Saharan Africa additionally about 66 of new HIV infections in 2015 were documented in this region 70 of new infections each day occur within Sub Saharan Africa These statistics are particularly shocking when one considers that Africa constitutes just 15 2 of the world's population
This statistic presents several implications for the appropriate and effective prevention of HIV AIDS first it suggests that widespread awareness of HIV status and its relevance in preventing HIV infection is inadequate second it means that millions of individuals living with HIV are unable to be adequately linked to appropriate care and early treatment to prevent the progression to AIDS thirdly it is suggested that a lack of knowledge about HIV status can contribute to the spread of HIV AIDS since HIV positive people may unknowingly and unintentionally infect others The majority of individuals who are ignorant of their HIV positive status live in developing nations such as Uganda The availability and quality of treatment of HIV AIDS in developing nations is inconsistent and often poor In many African nations treatment of HIV AIDS is affected by a lack of resources and low investment resulting in substandard healthcare as well as the burden of expensive individual costs of healthcare and a general lack of access to treatment in less urbanised areas There are an estimated 5 5 million individuals living in African nations who require antiretroviral therapy i e administration of drugs which attempt to control infection but only about 5 of these people have access to the drugs
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