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Treatment of hiv in west africa essay

Religious affiliation as a predictor of HIV infection 25In the early years of the epidemic the opposition from some religious leaders to campaigns in favour of the use of condoms on the grounds that they would encourage promiscuity was met with hostility by medical professionals and public health experts.

AIDS in Africa

Today, more harmonious relations reign between the two groups of role-players. In matters of prevention religious leaders are often more pragmatic that one may assume. And in any case it would be a mistake to assume that believers always follow the prescriptions of their faith-communities Eriksson, 2011.

Trinitapoli and Weinreb see faith-based prevention in a more positive light. Only approaches exclusively based on faith healing, they suggest, are problematic. In truth, Christian involvement in health matters has been high since the early days of the colonial era Iliffe, 2006; Rasmussen and Richey, 193; Dimmock, Olivier and Wodon, 2012. A number of Christian healthcare institutions were selected by international organisations as funding conduits on account of their presence on the ground and their assumed reliability Prince et al.

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Even though religious institutions benefited less from international funding that many people think Olivier and Wodon, 2012bit is undeniable that their visibility has increased Prince et al.

This raises the question of the respective roles of international agencies, national states and religious institutions in the provision of healthcare in sub-Saharan Africa. By dealing directly with faith-based organisations these international bodies effectively bypass the national public health systems.

This practice, which some authors describe as neoliberal, undermines the sovereignty of African states Becker and Geissler, 2008: But this may change. There are signs that international agencies, the biggest provider of funding for ARV programmes in poor countries, are planning exit strategies.

  1. Both prevention strategies and reactive approaches such as condom use have also been promoted. Now that it is a direct concern for some western countries as well, there is increased reporting on the situation in Africa as well.
  2. These results were in no sense dramatic — and they cannot be compared to the demonstrable life-saving benefits of anti-retrovirals — but they did show that improved diet, or cheap generic vitamin pills, could represent a simple and relatively inexpensive way to marginally delay the need to start HIV medication in some patients.
  3. It is regularly updated.
  4. When the rich lose their fear, they are not willing to invest in the problems of the poor.

This may force religious institutions to create new forms of partnerships with national health programmes Munro, 2012. Treatment, care and the constitution of therapeutic communities 27If the effectiveness of religious institutions in HIV prevention sometimes appears problematic, their ability to mitigate the effects of the epidemic is undeniable despite the tendencies of some religious communities to stigmatise people living with HIV.

As Olivier and Clifford point it out, paradoxically this area is potentially the strongest in the religious sector but also the one about which we know the least Olivier and Clifford, 2011: The challenge caused to a deeply entrenched religious culture by a drug of biomedical origin which saves lives and the manner in which it reconfigures the relationship between faith, science and modernity needs further exploration. This applies mostly to leaders of Christian churches since very little is known of the doctrinal positions of Muslim leaders in Africa.

It affects politics, culture, social relations, material life and also, of course, religion. The good news is that social scientists and theologians, after ignoring each other, show signs of being prepared to learn from each other.

  1. He refers to these paid adverts … as if he had received flattering news coverage in the same papers.
  2. The good news is that social scientists and theologians, after ignoring each other, show signs of being prepared to learn from each other.
  3. If you have one 18-year-old with a Kalashnikov [rifle] and he dies, you find another 18-year-old, he said. This may force religious institutions to create new forms of partnerships with national health programmes Munro, 2012.
  4. We have been vindicated in this regard. This applies mostly to leaders of Christian churches since very little is known of the doctrinal positions of Muslim leaders in Africa.

We understand better the role of religious beliefs and practices in shaping the lives of people affected or infected by HIV.

But this is not a one-way movement. The epidemic also changes the institutional structures, the beliefs, the moral codes and the forms of sociability of religious people. Bongmba Elias, 2007, Facing a Pandemic: A History, Oxford, James Currey.

Olivier Jill, Wodon Quentin eds. The politics of ambiguity, Boulder, First Forum Press. It is regularly updated.