Subject Material


Published: 06.10.2009, Updated: 03.03.2017

Pre-reading activity: Have you ever heard of a person with HIV who has told his/her story in the media?

What is HIV/AIDS?

You are either affected or infected with HIV/AIDSYou are either affected or infected with HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS is one of the most severe health issues today. HIV is a virus (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) which can lead to the disease AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome). Most people who are infected by the HIV-virus will eventually develop AIDS. When a person has AIDS he or she will easily get infections since AIDS damages the person’s immune system. Even though there have been advances in medicine it has so far been proven impossible to find a cure for AIDS. As a result, people with AIDS die of illnesses that most people recover from. One of the biggest challenges in today’s medical research is to find a cure against HIV, which so far has not been possible

A Growing Problem in Africa

Although HIV/AIDS is a global challenge, people in Africa are affected to a much greater extent than people in the Western world, and the consequences are enormous. HIV/AIDS leads to high mortality rates, and people die at an early age. Children lose their parents and become orphans at a very early age. Thus, HIV/AIDS has some serious personal consequences since so many families and children are affected by the disease.

Global Consequences

Problems related to HIV/AIDS reinforce the wealth divide and the economic differences between Africa and the rest of the world. In poverty-ridden African countries there is a scarcity of financial resources. Due to this fact, the amount of money spent on finding measures to relieve the suffering is minimal. In addition to poverty, countries in Africa face a lot of challenges, for example refugees, lack of clean water and often unrest and civil war.