The End of Aids?

From the Economist:

Since then (1981), 25m people have died from AIDS and another 34m are infected. The 30th anniversary of the disease’s discovery has been taken by many as an occasion for hand-wringing. Yet the war on AIDS is going far better than anyone dared hope. A decade ago, half of the people in several southern African countries were expected to die of AIDS. Now, the death rate is dropping. In 2005 the disease killed 2.1m people. In 2009, the most recent year for which data are available, the number was 1.8m. Some 5m lives have already been saved by drug treatment. In 33 of the worst-affected countries the rate of new infections is down by 25% or more from its peak.

The article argues that the end of aids may arrive with a concerted effort of science (continued medical and pharmaceutical development), altruism (especially in richer and more developed nations providing aid–the Global Fund is a key example) and activism (raising awareness to drive continued socio-political will in solving this problem). A cure per se may never be found, but if the transmission–through unparalleled cooperation–does stop one day, won’t that virtually end it?

Read the article and answer these questions:

What is your own outlook on the situation of aids today? Why?

Are the 3 elements mentioned above adequate? 

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4 thoughts on “The End of Aids?

  1. The question of whether this 3 elements of science, altruism and activism is sufficient to completely eradicate HIV and AIDS is posed to us in a hypothetical way. But judging from the vast improvements of the efforts of the dropping death rates due to AIDS, I personally think that the 3 elements stated above, is sufficient to reduce and keep the death rates due to AIDS relatively low. However, it is not possible to completely eradicate AIDS and HIV, to keep the whole world HIV and AIDS free.

    I personally think that people should equipped with the knowledge of how HIV is spread.Not only through the common reasons like having multiple sex partners and the sharing of needles, it might also be passed on from the infected mother to her unborn child.Thus, the spread of HIV might not only it affects the people who are guilty of having multiple sex partners of sharing of needles through illegal drugs injection, it might also unintentionally affect someone innocent through the health care setting, where the absent minded nurses forget to change their needle.(I know these cases are rare, but they do happen.) In poor countries like Africa, where the people lack proper knowledge and education on health care and lack proper equipment to sterilize their needle due to various reasons,they are the minorities that might prevent the full effectiveness of the 3 elements to achieve the aim of having the world to be HIV and AIDS free.

    Thus, with the best of my knowledge, The aim of being completely HIV and AIDS free is not unattainable, but with only these 3 elements, we can only strive to bring down the no. of death cases due to AIDS to the lowest number possible, while the complete eradication of HIV is not as easy as it sounds.
    Just like in the case of Singapore with close to 100% literacy rate and progressive economic growth, there is still 0.1% of our population is affected with HIV due to various reasons. if it is so for our country, what about those who lack proper education and access to knowledge of HIV and AIDS?

    In conclusion, the intention of minimizing the negative impact of HIV and AIDS can be achieved, but the complete eradication will not be possible in the near future.

    P.S: MR F.O.O!!!!! Hello!=D

  2. I see AIDS as a disease that is definitely curable in the not so distant future. After all, so many diseases that have posed such a huge issue to humankind have been eradicated one by one. With the exponential growth of knowledge and wealth, I believe that the world now is better equipped than ever to combat AIDS.

    However, I feel that the three elements: science, altruism and activism is inadequate. Education is another factor that needs to be introduced. The reason why majority of the population with AIDS come from Africa is because of this lack of education. People are not educated and thus they are more vulnerable victims to AIDS. With education, I believe that AIDS will not spread as fast as it is today and science can eventually catch up and solve the problem altogether.

  3. From my knowledge, AIDS can already be cured now with a bone-marrow transplant that produces white blood cells which cannot be affected by HIV. True, the nature of science and technology will surely offer humankind with more promises in the future, especially in medical industries. While altruism and activism are important measures in suppressing the number of people infected by AIDS, local cultures and religions should as well build strong moral foundations to prevent such casual sex to happen in the first place. However, by the invention of more sophisticated medicine which can cure AIDS, people are put to a greater risk of irresponsible behavior as well, since they now can have free and unprotected sex without fearing those related diseases being transferred. Eventually, the most effective way of decreasing the number of HIV cases is through the force of religion and local culture.

  4. It is undeniable that the process of combating AIDS is going well given that the death rate is dropping from 2.1 million people in 2005 to 1.8 million people in 2009 and some 5 million lives have been saved by drug treatment. With continual effort, I am quite optimistic about the death rate dropping even lower and more lives being saved.

    The article argues that the end of AIDS may arrive with a concerted effort of science, altruism and activism. With concerted effort of science and altruism, eventually there might be development of drugs which can cure AIDS. This would drastically reduce the number of people dying each year due to AIDS. By raising awareness to continually put in the effort to combat this disease, more resources will be channeled to do more researches on medical treatments and set up more campaigns to raise awareness of AIDS. However, this does not promise us the virtual end of AIDS. If the drug to cure AIDS is to be found, this might actually provokes people to be less cautious and this might bring about the opposite result; rising rate of transmission. Therefore, I would say the three elements mentioned above are not adequate in eradicating AIDS.

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