In the last decade of the 20th century, the critical issue of socio-economic and demographic development of the Third World countries has become an acquired immune deficiency syndrome – AIDS, a deadly disease, the treatment of which has not yet been found. According to the UN, at the end of 2000, there were 36.1 million of HIV-infected people in the world. Its vast majority (25.3 million people (or 70%) is in Africa. Meanwhile, only 12.5% of the world population lives in Africa. Of the 22 million deaths in the world from AIDS three-quarters are in Africa.
By the time this mysterious assassin, depleting the body’s defenses has been found, it had already hit many people at risk in Africa. This risk group includes people with promiscuous sexual relations with many partners of both sexes. Through them, the virus went ahead and took a strong position among the majority of the population. The spread of HIV in Africa, in contrast to other countries, is mainly through sexual contact. Drug abuse in the region is less important than the behavior associated with the frequent change of sexual partners.
The most heavily affected counties by HIV/AIDS in Africa were countries located south of the Sahara. The population of these countries is characterized by extreme poverty, poor health, and low literacy. The countries are characterized by the depressed and powerless position if women as well as political instability.
In these African countries, there were more than 95% of all infected patients on the African continent, of which about 3 million people have already died.
In the early years of the spread of the disease, it has been observed that AIDS often stroke wealthier people. This was confirmed by studies in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and some other countries. This is due to the fact that wealthy people travel, meet different people, and have the ability to pay for intimate relationships.
The spread of AIDS in Africa was contributed due to some social norms and rooted traditions, such as multiple concurrent partnerships. In some sub-Saharan cities, traditional polygamy took the form of formal and informal marriages and extramarital relations, based on a specific agreement between partners. The spread of HIV is also affected by the traditional custom of levirate, when a widow must marry her husband’s brother, or at least, cohabit with him.
Countries with a high proportion of HIV carriers and AIDS patients (more than 10% according to UN data) are: Kenya, Malawi, Côte d’Ivoire, Mozambique, Zambia, Rwanda, Namibia, South Africa, Central African Republic, Burundi, and Lesotho.
In the last decade of the 20th century, the critical issue of socio-economic and demographic development of the Third World countries has become an acquired immune deficiency syndrome – AIDS, a deadly disease, the treatment of which has not yet been found.