AIDS and HIV in Africa & Coral Reefs

AIDS and HIV are very serious problems in Africa. Over 75 percent of the people living with HIV live in Sub-Saharan Africa. There are more than 25 million people living in Sub-Saharan Africa with HIV. As a result of multiple genetic studies, it is said that HIV in Africa came from chimpanzees that were butchered over 100 years ago for meat. HIV has two subtypes. HIV-1 is the most common and is related to the chimpanzees in Africa. Both HIV-1 and HIV-2 can both cause AIDS, however HIV-1 is easier to transmit. HIV is transmitted though exposure to infected bodily fluids including saliva and semen.

Unprotected sex is the number one way to transfer HIV. The virus can enter the body though the mucous membranes of the vagina, the vulva, the penis, the rectum or the mouth during sexual activity. Some sexually transmitted infections can increase the susceptibility to infection of HIV. The first STI is that can increase the likely hood of getting HIV is syphilis. Syphilis is caused by bacterium. Direct sores on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum transmit it. The syphilis sores can also occur on the lips and in the mouth. The second STI is genital herpes.

The herpes simplex virus causes genital herpes. Chlamydia is another sexually transmitted infection that can lead to HIV. Having sex transmits chlamydia, and the male does not need to ejaculate. Lastly, gonorrhea increases the chance of getting HIV. Gonorrhea can grow in the warm, moist areas of the cervix, uterus, and fallopian tubes in women. It can also grow in the urethra in both male and females. Sharing drug syringes is another way to transmit HIV. Lastly, women during pregnancy, breast-feeding and birth can cause their babies to have HIV.

The most common type of birth control in Africa can heighten the risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV. While there are many ways to spread HIV, there are also ways to reduce the risk. Both drug treatments and a cesarean section greatly reduce the possibility. HIV is not spread through common activities and casual contact. These include sharing of food utensils, towels and bedding. The use of swimming pools, phones and toilets also do not spread HIV. Furthermore, HIV is not spread though biting insects including: mosquitos and bed bugs.

Condoms, whether they are latex or polyurethane, dwindle the risk of HIV when used properly with no malfunctions. AIDS result in many aggressive opportunistic infections and cancers, which are hard to treat due to having AIDS. One type of cancer includes Kaposi Sarcoma. Kaposi Sarcoma is a cancerous tumor in the connective tissue. Cervical cancer and lymphomas are attainable results as well. Anti-retroviral drugs are needed in many poor and developing nations. According to experts, the drugs could make AIDS in Sub-Saharan treatable. The US Congress passed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief in 2007.

PEPFAR was planned to supply over two million Africans with anti-retroviral drugs, provide support care to over 2 million people and lastly, train 140,000 new health care workers. Aaron Motsoaledi, South African health minister, announced new statistics in March of 2013. He reported that 28 percent of young women are HIV positive and only 4 percent of young men are. Coral reefs are composed of masses of calcium carbonate built up by the animals. These masses are known as coral. The coral reefs play a huge part in protecting shorelines. They are also the home to many marine plants, invertebrates, fish, sea turtle and other marine animals.

It is said that approximately one million different species of plants and animals live in coral reefs, but only about ten percent have been identified thus far. Coral polyps are tiny animals that live in the calcium carbonate skeleton they secrete. Zooxanthellae, microscopic golden-brown algae, live within the exterior of the coral polyps. They contain chlorophyll, which is primarily how the reefs get their color. The zooxanthellae are only needed in tropical coral reefs. Deep-water corals, 2000m or greater, do not depend on zooxanthellae.

Deep-water corals can survive in water as cold as four degrees Celsius, and tropical reefs can only survive when the water is at least 18 degrees Celsius. When the temperature of the water increases it can cause heat stressed coral. This will result in the zooxanthellae to expel from the coral. When this occurs the coral then begins to take on the white appearance. This is now called coral bleaching. An increase in acidity of the oceans is harmful to the reefs. The increase is due to human-released carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and global warming. The reefs absorb roughly one fourth of the carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide undergoes many changes resulting in carbonic acid. Over the last three centuries, the carbonic acid has increased by 30 percent. Due to the increase of acid in the water, researches have found the Great Barrier Reef is growing at its slowest pace in at least 400 years. Coral reefs are not only stressed by the climate changes, but also by human activities. One example is the over harvesting of fish. Over harvesting fish causes the seaweed and algae to compete with the corals for space. Phytoplankton and seaweed grow in shallow water when nitrogen and phosphorus are mixed in the ocean.

These darken the water resulting in a decrease of photosynthesis in the zooxanthellae. The reefs are very large tourist attractions, and with the destruction of them many weaken many economies. On April 3, 2010, Chinese oil freight, Shen Neng 1, ran aground. It destroyed a section of the Great Barrier Reef just 340 miles north Brisbane, Australia. Oil spills are huge contributors to the destruction of coral reefs. Australia has announced the establishment of marine reserves. Australia plans on increasing the marine reserves from 27 to 60. This will cover 3. 1 million square kilometers of ocean.

The reserves will restrict anything harmful to the reefs. A survey was done in 2012 on the Great Barrier Reef. The survey showed that the coral coverage had decreased from 38 percent to 13. 8 percent since 1985. Not only has coral bleaching and environmental changes took part in the destruction of the coral reefs, but a population explosion of Crown of Thorns starfish. These starfish may have caused roughly two thirds of the destruction of the coral. Laura PattersonGlobal 10 Honors May 22, 2013Research Paper.

Bibliography “Coral Reefs. ” Global Issues in Context Online Collection.

Detroit: Gale, 2013. Global Issues In Context. Web. 21 May 2013. “AIDS/HIV. ” Global Issues in Context Online Collection. Detroit: Gale, 2013. Global Issues In Context. Web. 20 May 2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20 May 2013. Web. 22 May 2013. “Cervical Cancer Symptoms, Causes, Treatments. ” WebMD. WebMD, n. d. Web. 20 May 2013. “Kaposi Sarcoma. ” Kaposi Sarcoma. N. p. , n. d. Web. 20 May 2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 20 May 2013.

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