The AIDS Epidemic In Africa

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The AIDS epidemic in Africa was extensively spreading and causing many people to perish. In Eastern and Southern Africa, HIV rates were prevalent in heterosexual men and women. Male laborers were forced to migrate because of colonialism, leaving their wives and families behind. They began working in mines and living in camps to provide a living for themselves as well as their families. They would turn to prostitutes for sexual pleasure and as a result the virus spread because of having multiple partners. Epstein’s explanation for the increasing HIV rates in Africa is called “the concurrency theory”, which is “an epidemiological model based on the idea that long-term overlapping heterosexual relationships are not uncommon in Africa” (“A review of Helen Epstein, The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the fight again AIDS” pg.103). In concurrent relationships, an individual is likely to contract the virus due to being highly infectious after becoming HIV-positive. The beginning stages of the virus are called the “acute phase”, where an individual may not know the severity of the virus due to having common cold symptoms.

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