10.29.2010

Impact of HIV/AIDS Worldwide

For the past 10 weeks of school I have been in a class learning about the diverse face of HIV/AIDS and how it impacts both the Chicago area and the world. Throughout the classes and visits to community-based organizations, I have witnessed how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has affected various groups of people coming from all walks of life. Before entering this course, I believed that AIDS was mostly a developing world's disease and that it did not impact those living in countries like the U.S. This misconception of mine was most likely due to the fact that I grew up in a small suburban town where the HIV prevalence was not high. The only place I came in contact with a population who had or who were at risk of having HIV was while I was in Sierra Leone doing HIV/AIDS awareness - this too probably led me to forget that AIDS significantly affects populations in the U.S. and other developing nations.

I have learned an immense amount of information from this course that I found fascinating, but the thing that sparked the most interest in me is how HIV/AIDS affects various countries around the world. I found it intriguing to learn about who is being affected by HIV in other nations, why the prevalence rates are what they are, and what is being done both by the government and NGOs to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

As a final project for this course, I decided to highlight several countries around the world to learn about how HIV is affecting their population and to see what the governments is doing to help. Along with that I also hope to learn a bit more about certain topics in the global HIV/AIDS epidemic; for example, the spread of HIV/AIDS through conflict. For the next several days I will be posting about the current status of HIV around the world in hopes to raise awareness and to remind people that AIDS is still a threat. I hope to learn a lot from this research, but most importantly, I hope my sharing it all with you will help clear up any misconceptions that are out there and will provide for an open forum for discussion on the current HIV epidemic. 

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