The global health problem I will be focusing on is the HIV epidemic in Malawi. According to the article that I will be citing from, sixty four percent of the people in the world living with HIV reside on the continent of Africa. As of a few years ago, about ten percent of those living in Malawi are HIV positive. It is important when looking at a virus such as HIV, that we are also studying the area at which the people are being affected. That means, we need to see what sort of social issues are at hand, such as sexism, racism, and inequalities are at play. It seems that as these social issues have greater disparity between the weaker of society, and there is increased discrimination, the rates at which people are suffering from such a life threatening illness such as HIV increases.
The main argument of this article is that with a goal of decreased poverty, there will come a decrease in HIV as well. It is something that must be tackled from a social and basic level of human existence (such as making sure people are getting the food that they need in order to survive) rather than looking at the virus’ numbers and starting from the top down.
The article also mentions the negative consequence that can come about from naming “risk groups” such as sex workers, drug users, etc, because it then becomes an issue of victim blaming and putting negative attention toward the people that in fact need the help rather than blame.
It is hard, when in Malawi specifically, the rates at which women are affected compared to the men that are affected is very lopsided, as many more women are suffering from HIV than there are men.
Anthropologists are trying to change this mode of thinking, and to do this there are groups that are forming to create positive change, such as fighting a common denominator issue such as poverty. There are many NGO’s that are working in order to provide health care and affordable access for people in terms of treatment for HIV, and that includes health centers and many volunteers from around the world stepping in and giving their time in order to help those that are in need of healing.
Ramin, Brodie. “INTRODUCTION.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. December 26, 5. Accessed August 9, 2014.