Non: Week 4
The main purpose of this week's lab to is analyze a couple myths about the AIDS epidemic.
"Developing countries are unable to fight AIDS effectively because they are corrupt and badly governed. Increased contributions to AIDS work in Africa and other underdeveloped regions serve little purpose because most of the money goes into the pockets of dishonest officials rather than to preventing new infections and treating the sick." (Irwin, 2003, p. 41)
- While it is true "cronyism, bribery and embezzlement" (41) has slowed the fight against AIDS, there should still be continued support for AIDS help from wealthy countries.
- There have increasingly larger international efforts to fight corruption in many ways. This includes exposing, documenting and resisting corrupt practices; targeting African officials who are often targeted for corruption; looking at corruption from corporations in American, European and East Asian countries (42).
- The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has recently ratified the Anti-Bribery Convention to make it a crime for countries to bribe foreign officials to obtain international business (42).
- The Internet has made it easier to expose corruption and give widespread attention to those guilty of corruption (43).
- Corruption in Africa is compounded by two factors: the severity of the epidemic necessitates immediate foreign aid and the belief by Western officials that dishonesty and public center waste are unavoidable (44-45).
- African countries have gradually moved towards democracy in recent years, which while not guaranteeing the disruption of corruption, does tend to lead to greater accountability (45).
- Numerous African countries have formation organizations and coalitions to create "multisector AIDS strategies" to link various political and social factions (47).
- Global organizations like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have increased accountability and monitoring of foreign aid money with strict guidelines and documentation processes (49).
- AIDS and corruption can be fought simultaneously, as evidenced in other corrupt countries like Thailand, Uganda and Brazil, which have all seen marked successes in controlling the AIDS epidemic. (50-51).
- While these countries have been the exceptions, it also shows that a multisectoral approach to AIDS with political, society, and commercial support can help slow the AIDS epidemic (56-57).
"The best way to control AIDS in the developing world is by putting all available resources into stronger prevention programs. In developing countries, costly treatment for people already infected with HIV should wait until prevention programs have been fully funded and deployed" (59).
- While the efforts against AIDS started out with prevention methods, over time, the focus has become increasingly targeted with treatment. This has come at the expense of the poor, who cannot afford the expensive treatments (59-60).
- Despite the decreasing cost of antiretrovirals, over 90% of people with HIV/AIDS do not have access to these drugs (60).
- The author argues that both treatment and prevention efforts should be scaled up due to the "moral and social implications of denying treatment to millions"; the limited effectiveness of prevention programs; the close relationship between prevention and treatment; and the importance of treatment in increasing political power for AIDS control (60-61).
- Over 42 million people are infected with HIV/AIDS with 15000 new infections a day and 8000 deaths a day (61).
- While prevention is likely cheaper per person per year, there are important ethical and moral considerations that are at play (63).
- Prevention-only strategies often failed to take into account the social and economic costs of infected people dying in the middle of their working years, hurting society overall (63).
- Less than 1 billion dollars/each year is spent on prevention efforts despite the UNAIDS estimate that 4-5 billion dollars is needed per year to mount a successful global prevention campaign (64-65).
- Prevention and treatment often go hand in hand as HIV testing is vital to both systems of controlling HIV (66).
- Access to AIDS treatment can decrease the stigma of HIV infection, with many more people being aware that AIDS is not a death sentence but a chronic condition (68).
- The idea of equity is vital when it comes to treating AIDS, as those who are unable to pay for expensive antiretrovirals are sentenced to death by a Western focused economic system (71).
How would the results look if the groups were classified by something other T-cell levels?
In general, knowledge on the AIDS epidemic is often clouded by Western bias and capitalist notions on solving the crisis. While it can be well-meaning at times, Western countries often have misguided interpretations on the situation in Africa.
- I worked with my partner Carolyn to help formulate a new research question.
- I utilized the MediaWiki to put the myths into block quotes.
- I followed the Week 4 protocol for this assignment.
- "Except for what is noted above, this individual journal entry was completed by me and not copied from another source."
- Irwin, A. C., Fallows, D., & Millen, J. V. (2003). Global Aids: myths and facts. Cambridge, Mass: South End Press.
- OpenWetWare. (2020). BIOL368/S20:Week 4. Retrieved February 9, 2020, from https://openwetware.org/wiki/BIOL368/S20:Week_4
- OpenWetWare#Block Quotes. (2020). BIOL368/S20:Week 4. Retrieved February 9, 2020, from https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Formatting#HTML_tags