Infectious disease

HIV is one of the few diseases today that has no cure, but can be treated to prolong the life of the infected person. Human Immunodeficiency Virus or more commonly known as HIV, attacks the body’s immune system and makes the carrier weaker for other diseases to attack (Partners in Health). This disease later turns into AIDS, (immunodeficiency syndrome) which is an advanced stage. HIV can be transmitted in many ways which include sharing needles, blood transfusions (highly unlikely), unprotected sexual intercourse or from an infected mother to her unborn child (Partners in Health, 2011).

HIV is an adaptive disease which later turns into a chronic disease. The main problem with this disease is that it can’t be cures, but it can be treated and it can spread very quickly which can later turn into epidemic making the mortality rates of a society go up. There are many reasons behind the spread of a disease and one is the economy of a country. POLITICAL ECONOMY: HIV/AIDS has not been around for a long time as other diseases have. Sixty five million people have been infected with this disease since 1981 (Partners in Health, 2011).

The majority of the people living with AIDS live in developing countries with limited resources. By 1987, the first approved medication to treat, not cure HIV/AIDS was announced but again, due to the economy of these countries the cost of the treatment made it almost impossible to have access to such treatment (Kidder). There were several worldwide campaigns to treat AIDS throughout the years thus making the treatment more available to people of scarce resources (Kidder).

One of the foundations that has contributed to the prevention of AIDS and other diseases that is most connected with politics is the Clinton Foundation (Partners in Health, 2011). The mission of this foundation is to help alleviate poverty, improve health around the world and make the economy stronger. Recently they helped 2. 6 million people with lifesaving medication (Clinton foundation, 2011). HIV/AIDS also has a direct and negative impact on the country’s economy.

In Sub Sahara Africa this disease affects the economy by putting laborers out work and making the economy fall, the economic growth falls 1% yearly due to this disease (Partners n Health, 2011). Poverty amongst other reasons is one of the major drivers for HIV/AIDS transmission (Kidder). Poverty leads to an undereducated society with less tools and information to make wise life choices. This makes diseases spread very quickly. With a disease like HIV/AIDS the risk of contracting any other diseases is at a greater probability, which has a correlation with poverty (Kidder, 126).

With the help of foundations, these underdeveloped countries have greater morbidity rates because they help them live longer and bring down mortality rates what is known as an epidemiological transition. In countries like Haiti, who have had tremendous devastations a disease like this is something that is almost expected. There is a form of structural violence. The government does very little to help the economy (Kidder). Sometimes, charcoal (which is the most common resource in Haiti) is not enough to get a meal for a day so women who have to feed their children have to search for other options to get money (Kidder).

Prostitution is another way of transmitting an STD’s. The government has laws to prevent prostitution but don’t do much to help stop it (Kidder). When foundations like Partners in Health see that the government does very little to help the population, they go into that country and do charitable work in order to give them a better life style, if not lifestyle a healthy lifestyle where they can work and care for their children who will become the future generations.


In order to prevent HIV and care for the currently diseased there are a number of steps that must be followed. The first is to educate the people about the disease and teach them ways to prevent transmission. Teaching people how to prevent HIV transmission through safe sex and drug abstinence is the main path to succeed in the labor of stopping the spread of this disease because those are the easiest ways of spreading. The most effective ways of spreading the word would be creating pamphlets, conferences and talking to the people in the street.

Dr.Paul Farmer believes that countries with high poverty levels and huge class distinctions are at the highest rate of spreading AIDS (Kidder, 198). What should be done to prevent this? He believes that social inequalities should be abolished and all people should be treated equally and fairly. This is the “social barrier” described in Mountains Beyond Mountains. Another way to prevent the spread of this disease is to form programs like “The HIV Equity Initiative” and spread them throughout the world. What best way to educate the people than by teaching the locals to treat the infected.

Another way of preventing this disease is to have testimonials talk about how they got infected and let others see how this horrible disease has changed their lives. The easiest way to promote prevention is education, where the people will learn to care for themselves and hopefully eradicate this disease from our population.

Bibliography Kidder, Tracy. Mountains beyond Mountains. New York: Random House, 2003. Print. Pih. org. Partners in Health, 2009. Web. 28 Dec. 2011. <www. pih. org>. William J. Clinton Foundation. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <http://www. clintonfoundation. org/>.

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