Key Drivers of HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and in San Francisco and Church’s Response to the AIDS Pandemic

Part I: Key Drivers of HIV and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and San Francisco

Disease epidemics are largely caused by specific historic, political, economic, and cultural aspects. In this respect, the infection spread is often regarded as a social rather than biological process. The plague of the twenty-first century is AIDS that have been caused by a complex of cultural, economic and political conditions. Specifically, gender inequalities, genocide, poverty, and many other factors have had a destructive impact on the situation in developing countries (Kalipeni 15).

Due to the lack of resources, consistent infrastructures, and effective governance, these economies have been struck by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS. The African continent has undergone the worst shifts, particularly its Sub-Saharan region. However, poverty is only one of the key drivers of disease epidemic because there are many cultural, moral, and ethnic determinants influencing the situation.

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To enlarge on this issue, the rate of people suffering from HIV/AID is significant. Irrespective of local conditions and geographical peculiarities, the reasons for HIV/AIDS emergence are rooted in a complex mix of political, social, and economical factors that drive the epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa and San Francisco. The nature of these factors is different, but refers to the common categories.

The most tangible of epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa is strongly associated with gender issues. Specifically, such problems as gender inequalities and gender vulnerabilities, violence, and many other gender-related challenges are on the South African agenda (Gender and Inequalities and HIV n. p.).

Gender inequalities are more related to masculinity implying that males are likely to have more sexual partners. This is of particular concern to men having relationship with much younger women. Further, force sex and violence of physical and emotional character are experienced by women who are less resistant to these threats. What is more threatening is that women have a lesser access to HIV/AID prevention plans causing restrictions to a decision-making process.

Poverty and migrations are also among the core reasons for spread of the dangerous epidemic. Specifically, HIV prevention programs are often halted due to the lack of funding. These socioeconomic obstacles prevent the population from receiving sufficient financial, moral, and social support from developed countries (Kalipeni 205).

This also explains why AIDS pandemic is still the major threat to our plant (Kelly 26). Despite the fact that many scientific and technological advances directed at preventing the disease have been introduced, the evidence shows that they have little impact on the developing countries having much lesser access to financial resources.

Cultural believes, morale, and ethics are decisive in defining the underpinnings of increased rates of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. While attaining much importance to cultural forces, it should be noted that educational and information reforms must be introduced to increase the population knowledge and promote generally accepted educational standards (Kalipeni 17). Lack of information and responsiveness explains the inefficiency of prevention plan because cultural constraints determine the results.

Although the United States belong to one of the most developed economies, the rate of AID/HIV creates a serious challenge to the US government. The problem is of particular concern to San Francisco region where the epidemic is also on the rise. The contributing factors involve sexual orientation issues, injection drugs problems, and racial discrepancies. Heterosexuality can be largely associated with psychological, behavioral, and ethical patterns that are strongly associated with homosexuals (Kelly 45).

Injection drugs are also toughly connected with the development of AIDS/HIV because they reflect the behavioral and psychological patterns that are typical of citizens (Rao and Svenkerud 86). In this respect, the prevention programs should be culturally sensitive and oriented on shaping new cultural patterns.

Finally, racial discrepancies influence greatly the situation with AIDS increased rate as far as immigration issues are concerned. To be more precise, African Americans have higher rates of reported HIV cases among which are such categories as MSM and trans-persons are included (San Francisco HIV Prevention Plan 3).

In conclusion, the analysis of social, cultural and political situations in Sub-Saharan region and San Francisco has revealed that that there are a great number of factors contributing to the spread of the epidemic.

In particular, the key driving factors of HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan African involve gender inequality, poverty and migration, and cultural beliefs. In its turn, San Francisco high rates are largely predetermined by sexual orientation, injection drugs proliferation, and racial discrepancies. All these factors can be embraced into a complex mix of social, cultural, and economical issues.

Part II. Differences and Similarities of Factors Driving HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and San Francisco

The identification of factors triggering the rise of HIV/AIDS in the regions has uncovered a number of distinctive differences and similarities. Before analyzing those, it should be stressed that pandemic is a social process that touches upon many political, ethnic, racial, cultural, and economical issues, which is the explicit similarity related to issue.

Another common feature refers to the sexual orientation problem, particularly to homosexual males who have greater risk of being infected by the disease. Hence, due to male gender prevalence in South Africa, men are more likely to be sexually promiscuous.

Despite similarities, there are obvious distinctions predetermined largely by economical and political conditions. Specifically, the level of poverty is different and, as a result, the causes of pandemic differ as well. South African region refers to developing economies whereas San Francisco in much more advanced in these terms. In addition, there are also discrepancies in cultural beliefs and perceptions. Lack of education and deficiency in understanding the problem prevents African people from embracing the seriousness of the issue.

Part III. Church’s Response to AIDS Pandemic

Today, African religious institutions are primarily considered as healing ministries. This tendency has come to the forth when it comes in Christian traditions in African region as far as the problem of AIDS spread is concerned.

The analysis of religious background of churches in Zimbabwe and other countries of Southern region have revealed that religion considers AIDS as a deviation of behavior and rejection to follow the main principles of religion (Dube 27). The church reaction on the epidemic, therefore, can be considered through wider applications of religion to AID/HIV problem.

Judging from the above, Churches in African places an emphasis on moral dimension to eliminate spiritual and physical suffering that people endeavor because of the disease.

In this respect, the Christian communities are more presented as mentors and teachers encouraging people to fight with the pandemic and resort to pre-caution methods. Their actions are directed at increasing people’s awareness and promoting specific educational programs based on the Biblical principles. The reforms concern both the infected people and the one who face this threat.

Works Cited

Dube, Lilian et al. African Initiatives in Healing Ministry, South Africa: UNISA Press, 2011. Print.

“Gender and Inequalities and HIV”. Gender, Women and Health. World Health Organization. 2011. Web. 4 Oct. 2011.

Kalipeni, Ezekiel, et al. HIV and AIDS in Africa: Beyond Epidemiology, New Jersey: Blackwell Publishing, 2006. Print.

Kelly, Michael. HIV and AIDS: A Social Justice Perspective. Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications, 2010. Print.

Rao, Nagesh, and Peer J. Svenkerud. Effective HIV/AIDS prevention communication strategies to reach culturally unique populations: lesson learned in San Francisco, U. S. A and Bangkok, Thailand. International Journal of Intercultural Relations. 22.1 (1998): 85-105. Print.

San Francisco Prevention Plan. Introduction. SFHIV. 2010. Web. 4 Oct. 2010.


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