The global health problem that I chose to discuss was HIV and AIDS in Malawi. The first AIDS case that was reported in Malawi was in 1985. Malawi has a population of 15.9 millon people who are greatly affected by HIV. There were 910,000 people living with HIV as of 2011. AIDS is the leading cause of death amongst adults in Malawi, and is a major factor in the country’s low life expectancy. Their life expectancy is only 54.8 years. Some cultural and political factors that facilitated HIV was the lack of sexual education among the population. Culturally it was taboo to speak about sex. Malawi was under the rule of President Hastings Banda for thirty years starting in 1964. During this time he paid little attention to the escalating AIDS crisis. President Banda did not feel the need for AIDS education and prevention programs to be carried out or for the public to be aware of the crisis that is going on. The government either banned or censored public discussions of sexual matters which resulted in an increase in the prevalence of HIV among the population of Malawi. After Banda’s presidency was over, a more liberal government was established in which the government supported and provided HIV treatment to the people of Malawi. The government implemented programs that focused on expanding voluntary HIV testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission services, voluntary medical male circumcision, condom promotion and distribution, blood safety measures, and life skills education for the youth. They also promoted mass media campaigns to inform the public. The article that I found was by Susan Cotts Watkins and it focuses on public discussion for the prevention of AIDS among rural Malawians. It documents their thoughts on what strategies would work best to prevent AIDS and goes into discussion on the effectiveness of these strategies such as abstinence, fidelity and the usage of condoms.
“HIV & AIDS in Malawi.” HIV and AIDS Information and Resources. Accessed August 8, 2014.
Watkins, Susan Cotts. “Navigating The AIDS Epidemic In Rural Malawi.” Population and Development Review 30, no. 4 (2004): 673-705.