HIV/AIDS in Malawi

HIV epidemic in its early years found itself in Malawi and other parts of Africa. Malawi had an extremely high prevalence in its country with about 14% of citizens in its adult population. AIDS was first reported in Malawi in 1985 with most infected by the HIV/AIDS disease being women. Furthermore, 90% of the people contracting the virus were by heterosexual transmission, 9% were mother-to-child and 1 % from unsafe blood transfers with same sex transmissions numbers being unavailable.

In Malawi, the discussion of HIV/AIDS, sex and sexuality remains topics that are uncomfortable and are not commonly. Culturally and socially there is a negative stigma surrounding the virus and therefore Malawians are less likely to seek help. There are very little human rights laws for those suffering from HIV/AIDS not to mention human rights in general.

Malawi, being one of the world’s poorest countries in the world, has been unable to provide a stable and sustainable economy. Malawians rely on crops and with environmental issues like drought, resources are gone. The lack of money and resources makes viruses like HIV/AIDS nearly impossible to address.

NGOs are addressing the issue by implementing programs to encourage education, prevention and treatment for those affected or that might end up being affected by HIV/AIDS. NGOs have been the driving force of help in Malawi due to little resources provided by governmental help. Programs like Malawi Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS and National Association of AIDS Service Organizations are programs that serve as a proponent for those affected by the virus and encourages awareness and comfort.

Dr. Anat Rosenthal started out her research by focusing on undocumented African women living in Tel Aviv who were HIV Positive (Bah). Her focus shifted when she continuously heard her patients talk about the cultural and societal issues surrounding HIV Positive diagnosis and how hard it was for them in their home countries. Rosenthal works tirelessly to combat and prevent HIV/AIDS outbreaks.

Garbus, Lisa. “HIV/AIDS in Malawi.” Aids Research Institute: University of California San Francisco. March 1, 2003. Accessed August 8, 2014. http://ari.ucsf.edu/programs/policy/countries/Malawi.pdf.

Boh, Patricia. “Medical Anthropologists Promotes AIDS Awareness in Malawi.” Southern Methodist University The Daily Campus. January 28, 2011. Accessed August 8, 2014. http://www.s

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