Global Health & HIV Global Health Issue Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Global Health & HIV

Global Health Issue

It is a small World: HIV / AIDS and Global Health

It is a small World: HIV / AIDS and Global Health

The purpose of this essay is to discuss in detail the HIV / AIDS issue and its different aspects and impacts on global level. The author will describe its history and current situation as well as the difficulties of HIV / AIDS patients on cultural and social level.

HIV / AIDS prevalence

HIV / AIDS was discovered as a disease in 1983 when laboratories of Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute, Paris and Dr. Robert Gallo of the National Cancer Institute, Washington, D.C found out that 'human immunodeficiency virus' (HIV) was the contributory cause of 'Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome' (AIDS) by the (Chermann, 1983; Barre-Sinoussi,868). On the discovery of this disease and its cause there were more than 4000 patients of HIV / AIDS in the United States and there was no effective treatment for this disease. By the year 1993 almost 332,468 patients were died from this disease.

It was in 1986 that the first antiretroviral compound that was proved to be effective was introduced and got approval from the food and drug administration (FDA). The compound, a thymidine analogue, azidothymidine, (AZT), inhibited HIV replication by terminating reverse transcription, an important step in the virus lifecycle. However, by 1989, it was recognized that benefits from single drug treatments were only transient due to the rapid emergence of drug resistant variants (Larder, 1731). The development of HIV inhibitors in the early 1990's targeting both reverse transcriptase and protease lead to the use of combination drug treatments that were more effective in the long-term control of HIV infection (Cheeseman, 141).

Three or more drug combinations became known as Highly Affective Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART). Due to the success of HAART, there was a sharp decline in the number of AIDS-related deaths in the U.S. However, the number of newly HIV-infected individuals continued to rise. Figures and facts show that almost 33.3 million people all over the world are living with HIV currently and 20 million deaths have occurred from this disease. The most affected area from AIDS is Africa where it is the main cause of death while all through the globe AIDS has been found to be the fourth largest killer (UNAIDS, 2).

Economical Impacts

Since many countries lack the funds needed to obtain sufficient quantities of antiretroviral and lack the patient care infrastructure necessary to administer these regimes and educate patients for HIV / AIDS prevention, their societies are most threatened by the disease pandemic. In more developed nations, the emergence and spread of combination drug resistant HIV variants has complicated control of the epidemic. Prevention of antiretroviral drug resistance in patients requires at least 90% adherence to HAART (King, 2046).

HIV / AIDS was a global epidemic by the mid-1980s. Medical and public health communities in different countries recognized the disease during 1981-1984. In the United States, the earliest cases of what would be identified later as HIV / AIDS emerged in 1981 when young gay men visited medical clinics exhibiting symptoms of Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) and pneumonias (PCP) (CDC, 1981). In the years following, the number of people with AIDS in the United States increased from 7,239 in 1984 to 160,969 in 1990 (, 1). Medical doctors in Kenya were among the first in the profession in Africa to describe HIV / AIDS. In their article, "Acquired Immunodeficiency in an African," Obel describe a case of one patient who presented AIDS-related symptoms in order "to alert medical practitioners to the possibility of AIDS occurring in Africans and to emphasize the point that no race may be exempted from this highly lethal syndrome." The Kenyan HIV prevalence rate reached 14% during the mid-1990s but has since stabilized to 6.3% prevalence (USAID, 2011). To address the global HIV / AIDS epidemic, new knowledge was needed during the mid-1980s and that new knowledge capacity had to be built through research and training. This essay describes global health capacity building to address HIV / AIDS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States (U.S.) reported that at the end of 2003 between 1,039,000 and 1,185,000 adults and children were currently living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and that about 24-27% of these individuals were undiagnosed and unaware of their serostatus.1 By the end of 2005, it was estimated that 341,524 males, 126,964 females, and 6,726 children (

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