In Malawi, HIV/AIDs is the leading cause of death of adults and a definite factor for the low life expectancy of 54.2 years. During the time that Malawi was ruled by President Banda, little attention was paid to the rise in HIV/ AIDS because of his beliefs. Due to this political view of brushing it under the rug and avoiding confrontation and implementation of programs for treatment, Malawi as a culture set HIV/AIDs aside because it was so stigmatized by the government and thought of as a taboo topic. After becoming a democracy years later, it was finally brought to attention that there was an HIV epidemic occurring in Malawi. Sadly, by this point, HIV/AIDS caused mass destruction in the country’s social and economic infrastructure. Thankfully in recent years, the Malawian government created an impressive effort to treat, educate, and prevent Malawaians for HIV/AIDS. The National AIDS Commission (NAC)was created in 2001 and has since “overseen a number of AIDS prevention and care initiatives, including programs to provide treatment, increase testing and prevent mother-to-child transmissions of HIV.” HIV stabilization has occurred, and Malawi is now suggested to have around 11% for the prevalence of HIV. Several donors provide direct care to Malawi including: the World Bank, the Global Fund, the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). All donors provide direct financial support for assisting in HIV prevention and treatment to the country of Malawi.
An anthropologist fighting against the spread of HIV and the impact of HIV/AIDS in Malawi is Dr. Anat Rosenthal. Her research focuses mainly on children, orphans, of rural Malawian communities now. Dr. Rosenthal concentrates on improving and educating the people through family strengthening projects, care projects and communal infrastructure projects. She has done nearly 2 years of field work, participant observation, and many interviews to help shape her work in Malawi. In 2011, Dr. Rosenthal spoke at Southern Methodist University in Texas to spread the word about her efforts in Malawi, to understand the impact of this epidemic, and hopefully gain more support and people to assist her in HIV prevention and treatment which is much needed in Malawi.
Bosch, Hayley. “HIV/AIDS Expert Speaks to Students on Campus.” Presentation at Southern Methodist University of Texas by Dr. Anat Rosenthal. January 27, 2011. http://www.smudailymustang.com/?tag=anat-rosenthal
“HIV & AIDS in Malawi.” Avert. 2012. Accessed August 7, 2013. http://www.avert.org/aids-malawi.htm#contentTable0