by Massimiliano Fanni Canelles
The HIV epidemic is born in Africa in the Sub-Saharan, and in this region is the leading cause of death. From this area, the disease has spread to every region of the Earth. Today, in the world, there are 33.2 million people living with HIV. Each year, nearly 80,000 people contract the virus, and about 25,000 die of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In the United States, the AIDS is the second leading cause of death among young people after road accidents. In a different way to other diseases, such as cancer and heart disease, AIDS mainly affects children and young people. From these infants may be infected during pregnancy, during childbirth or breastfeeding. In In young age the infection start when you use drugs or in the unprotected sex. HIV-positive children under the age of 15 years are 2.1 million and every day, another 1,500 are infected. The 90% of them live in Sub-Saharan Africa. The tragedy is caused by the inability to access adequate care. In 2006 only 23% of pregnant women had access to antiretroviral prophylaxis to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child and no more than 10% of HIV-positive children could benefit from appropriate treatment. The result of all this is the prevalence of AIDS deaths in people under the age of 25. In Western countries with high income per capita, has failed to contain the epidemic, thanks to the efficiency of the monitoring and prevention but also the possibility of using antiretroviral therapy made available by advances in pharmaceutical research and health systems state. Recently, the situation is improving in some Asian countries, especially China and India, and also in some African nations such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Kenya. Here the population is beginning to have access to appropriate care and prevention. For this reason, statistics on new infections and deaths resulting from AIDS in recent years, have a slight improvement. But it is also necessary that children living in remote tribal areas and have access to tests and antiviral drugs. We must also train and educate doctors, nurses, teachers, volunteers, public officials and village leaders. Very difficult undertaking. In these countries, often, HIV is not considered because there are other health priorities: 25% of the population lives below the poverty line and two and a half million children die each year from malnutrition, pneumonia or diarrhea. But in recent years, thanks to the services provided by International Non-Governmental Organizations in various countries in the developing world has been able to test for HIV to children within the first two months of life. In 2008 they received antiretroviral medicines, 45% of HIV positive pregnant women and 38% of HIV-positive children. As provided in the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO), for children at risk of HIV infection is set to co-trimoxazole therapy within the first two months of life in twice the rate than in previous years. The nations of the world have decided that one of the main goals of the “Millennium Development Goal” is to combat the AIDS. It is therefore imperative that efforts to prevent this epidemic could further tear the social fabric, cultural and economic development of nations have already been tested, casualties of industrialized countries. Victims of our wellbeing.
Translated by Martina Delser