Aids Issues Essay

1126 Words5 Pages
The human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV, has been ranked one of the most perplexing and devastating viruses in human history. According to the World Health Organization, HIV infection in humans is considered pandemic, infecting sixty million people world-wide since its initial discovery in 1981. Ever since scientists learned in 1983 that HIV was, in fact, a retrovirus, a number of different classes of antiretroviral drugs have been created and made available for patients. As a result, the number of HIV/AIDS-related illnesses and deaths have dramatically decreased in developed countries where these drugs are accessible. These achievements unfortunately do not pertain to developing, low income countries, where HIV is still continuing to spread. Thus, it can be said that HIV and AIDS is predominantly a disease of the developing world, where access to scientific advances and treatments is difficult. It is estimated that fewer than one-third of the people in developing countries who need antiretroviral therapy actually receive it. What is most disheartening is the fact that HIV-infected children compromise the most neglected population. Most children with HIV or AIDS in developing, low-income countries are often overlooked and lack access to quality HIV/AIDS care for a variety of reasons. Compared to the number of HIV/AIDS treatment options for adults in third-world countries, there are far fewer antiretroviral drugs and therapies which have been proven safe and effective for children. Since HIV was first discovered, more than twenty antiretroviral drugs have been made and approved for treating adults. However, there has been no such progress made for both the prevention and treatment of pediatric HIV in developing countries. As of the end of 2010, less than one-third of children in countries most affected by HIV, such as those in sub-Saharan African and
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