Slowing Trends in Hiv/aids Prevalence in Southern Africa
Hearing about slowing trends of HIV/Aids in Africa is the best news since the advent of the disease in the early 1980s. However, this changing trend has come at the cost of many African lives, most of whom were innocent victims.
Southern Africa has remained at the epicentre of the continent's epidemic with unprecedented infection rates, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Swaziland being the worst affected. The United States based Baylor International Initiative in 2006 reported that Sub-Saharan Africa has approximately 42 million people living with HIV/Aids, the majority of those infected situated in the above named Southern African countries where the national adult prevalence rates are exceeding 30%.
According the United Nations, HIV/Aids has had one of the most devastating effects on life and development in Africa in comparison to wars and droughts. It is arguably the largest single cause of death in Sub Saharan Africa. HIV/Aids increasingly and disproportionately affects women and adolescent girls in Southern Africa. Women and girls are at a high risk of coercive sex and their situation is compounded by stigma and discrimination. Women with HIV/Aids often face eviction from their homes if they disclose their status. A number of women organisations with the support of their respective governments are working tirelessly to reverse this trend and progress has been made in some countries.