AIDS, which is an abbreviation, fully refers to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and is a sickness that attacks the immunity of a human being’s body preventing it from fighting illnesses and other infections. HIV/AIDS is a global community issue health-wise claiming approximately 36.3M lives (World Health Organization). Until now, since the disease was discovered, no cure has been found to treat HIV/AIDS patients who are left with the only alternative treating the effects of the disease. However, with many people accessing adequate treatment and care, HIV infections have become manageable and allow individuals to live with AIDS and have a healthy and long lives compared to earlier days during its discovery (World Health Organization). This paper discusses the causes and effects of AIDS on people worldwide. The major cause of AIDS, is the HIV virus which attacks the human body making it susceptible to attacks by viruses and fungi.
The Causes and Effects of AIDS Disease
Causes of AIDS disease
The AIDS-causing virus only lives in sexual fluids and therefore can be transmitted through sexual intercourse, human blood, and breast milk, and it primarily spreads through the sharing needles and unprotected sexual contact (Kaplan). Further, people with HIV can use preventive means to protect themselves from getting infected by AIDS. HIV-1 group M of subtype B causes AIDS and is assumed to be the predominant variant globally. Nonetheless, it is still unclear about the origin of the virus that causes AIDS disease (Collins et al. 197). Further, the HIV that causes AIDS attacks the immune system of an individual’s body, and if one fails to treat the virus, it leads to AIDS. Some virus infection symptoms include fever, rash, fatigue, mouth ulcers, swollen lymph nodes, night sweats, chills, and a sore throat. Despite presenting these symptoms, some people never feel sick during the infection stage and therefore do not seek treatment, making it possible for the virus to develop fully in the body, resulting in the AIDS deadly disease (CDC). The AIDS-causing virus can spread from an infected person to an uninfected person during vaginal or anal sexual intercourse. Children of mothers infected with HIV/AIDS disease can also get infected during birth, breast milk, or exposure to the mother’s blood. However, it is considered safe for HIV/AIDS mothers to breastfeed their children for a few months if they are being treated (Kaplan). Therefore, since it is safe for mothers to breastfeed for the first few months, then the young ones can get the benefits that come with a mother’s milk.
The Effects of HIV/AIDS Disease
Over the last decades, approximately 35 million people have died of AIDS, resulting in a substantial decline in human capital, mostly in developing countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa (Zinyemba et al. 35). Further, the educational achievements of children born of parents who later died of the diseases have been negatively impacted as most HIV/AIDS orphans fail to get good education due to the loss of their parents. Similarly, HIV/AIDS orphans tend to face many financial challenges to access basic needs such as education and, therefore, lack the motivation for education when their parents die (Zinyemba et al, 35). Lastly, death caused by HIV/AIDS is a significant impact on the economy in terms of human capital and children who are left orphaned with no one to take care of them and provide them with basic needs such as education.
According to Poudel et al. (2), another effect of HIV/AIDS is the reduction in household productivity of a farming family when one member falls sick which causes the household to reduce their farm size or hire laborers to replace the sick member. Therefore, there is an increased labor cost on a farming family which significantly increases their financial costs which were unanticipated. On the other hand, a family can decide to sell part of their assets, take loans, or remove their children from school to meet the cost of taking care of their loved one an action which can affect a family in the long-term (Poudel et al. 2).
Another effect of the HIV/AIDS disease is the stigma, socio-economic, discrimination as well as socio-economic exclusion from economic opportunities. Further, families which have a member suffering from the disease have lower income and few assets as compared to those that are not affected by AIDS. In the same vein, they tend to have more debt which tend to attract high interest rates due to their HIV/AIDS status (reliefweb). Therefore, this implies that the families which have a member suffering from the disease are more discriminated against in the society while on the other hand sick member gets discriminated against in the economy. This is because when it comes to employment opportunities and taking up of loans, HIV/AIDS patients are looked down upon and excluded from achieving their economic goals and objectives.
Further, according to Trapero-Bertran and Oliva-Moreno, there are non-medical expenses associated with AIDS disease in nations with high incomes in terms of work time lost by patients failing to attend to their work duties (14). Further, HIV/AIDS occurrences negatively impact societies by causing poor health, loss of employment by infected people, and significant labor productivity declines, which in turn causes a drop in a country’s entire economy. HIV/AIDS medical expenditures eat into economic resources that governments could have used for investments and economic development (Saeed and Ayuwat, 5406). Therefore, HIV/AIDS disease is a menace that impacts the economic development of most countries, specifically in the developing world, such as sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
HIV/AIDS is a global communal issue health-wise which has claimed approximately 36.3 lives. Further, the AIDS disease attacks the immunity of the body weakening it from fighting illnesses and other infections. It is transmitted by direct contact with human blood or sexual fluids during sexual intercourse, piercing or cutting with infected sharp objects such as needles, or breastfeeding by infected mothers. AIDS diseases are caused by HIV, which weakens the immune system of human beings, making it unable to fight illnesses and other fungus or viral infections, thus resulting in death. On the other hand, AIDS as a disease has many adverse effects such as death, high treatment costs, low investments in an economy, and low economic development for most governments with high HIV/AIDS infection rates.
Further, HIV/AIDS tends to negatively impact women since they are the most vulnerable members of society. Most women in developing countries get infected with the disease due to selling their bodies to get food or money for their children’s education and other basic needs. On the other hand, HIV/AIDS tends to affect people in society since they are forced to pay for the treatment of those infected and who cannot meet the cost of medication indirectly by having their governments meet the high cost from their taxes.
CDC. “About HIV/AIDS HIV Basics HIV/AIDS CDC.” Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2019, p. 1, Web.
Collins, L.M., Kugler, K.C. & Gwadz, M.V. Optimization of Multicomponent Behavioral and Biobehavioral Interventions for the Prevention and Treatment of HIV/AIDS. AIDS Behav vol. 20, 2016, pp. 197–214
Kaplan, Jonathan E. HIV/AIDS: Facts, Statistics, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments. 2021, Web.
Poudel, Ak Narayan, David Newlands, and Padam Simkhada. “The economic burden of HIV/AIDS on individuals and households in Nepal: a quantitative study.” BMC health services research vol. 17, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-13. Web.
Saeed, Suleiman Mohammed, and Dusadee Ayuwat. “Socio-Economic Effects of HIV/AIDS on Households with People Living With HIV/AIDS in Northern Nigeria.” Turkish Journal of Computer and Mathematics Education (TURCOMAT), vol. 12, no. 3, 2021, pp. 5406–15,
World Health Organization. HIV/AIDS. 2021, Web.
Zinyemba, Tatenda, Milena Pavlova, and Wim Groot. “Effects of HIV/AIDS on children’s educational attainment: A systematic literature review.” Journal of Economic Surveys vol. 34, no. 1, 2020, pp. 35-84.