Monday, October 17, 2011

AIDS Videos

          I thought that video Stories of AIDS in Africa was very interesting. I thought that reporter Stephanie Nolan conducted the video very well. I liked how she decided to pursue the topic of AIDS because she believed it was overlooked. She said that when she was in Africa there weren't any other news crews or anything like there were in other locations. I think she made a great point when she said that it affects people between 18 and 35 because these are the people that are the foundation and future of a nation's economy. I really enjoyed the story about Tigis and Johanis in Ethiopia. The fact that they were so young and were brave enough to live on there own is amazing to me. Being six and nine years old and having to live on your own without a Mom or Dad is unimaginable. Hearing a story like this really makes you realize that people's lives are much harder than u think. I thought it was interesting when she mentioned Ronald Reagan's speech in 1982, when he said that there would be a vaccine within two years. Stephanie then talked about a microbiologist that she knew who works on coming up with a vaccine for AIDS and he says that it will be at least another ten years. I liked how she says that her job is not depressing because she witnesses such great things when it comes to treating the disease.

        I thought that the Deadly Catch video was very eye opening. They really stress that there isn't any household in Kenya that hasn't been affected by AIDS in some way. The Jaboya method that is used is unlike anything I've ever heard of. This system is an obvious part to why the AIDS problem is so bad in that area. The problem is that these women see no other choice and feel obligated to take part in this system. Most of these women have children and in order to feed their children they take part in the Jaboya system. What makes this system so wrong is that  the women aren't afraid to get the disease. They aren't afraid of dying so in turn don't care about wearing condoms. The other issue is that some people don't believe that AIDS exists. They believe that it is a curse and  the people who get sick are those who break customary law. Seeing all of the women who had lost their husbands and that they were HIV positive as well really shows how terrible AIDS is in Kenya.

         The method of Jaboya is a terrible thing. For the people along Lake Victoria they don't see it as a major problem like others do. The women who build sexual relationships with the fishermen feel that if they don't they won't live. What they don't realize is by doing this they are killing themselves anyway. The people of Kenya don't believe that the practice of Jaboya causes AIDS. These people need to be educated in some way that gives these people a better option. I think that this system needs to be addressed by the U.S immediately.

          I think that the affect AIDS has had on Africa is much different compared to how AIDS has affected the United States. Most of Africa is made up of third world countries and that makes an epidemic like this much more significant. In Africa the amount of hospitals and doctors is much lower than in the U.S. This makes it hard on the people with AIDS because they don't know what to do to help the problem. AIDS impacts the working force, the children, the teachers, and the parents of kids. The affects on these groups are much more significant in Africa because they aren't getting the treatment like they are in the U.S.  This causes food production to take a significant hit because those who work in the agricultural industry can't because of illness. Also the education in Africa suffers a loss especially when the teachers come down with the disease and can't educate the children. When children's parents get sick it causes children to start having to work at a very young age. This leads to a decrease in education because now these children aren't attending school. Clearly, the lack of resources and education shows that AIDS has a tremendous affect on Africa.

       Before watching these videos I knew that AIDS was very popular among Africans but never really thought about the impact it had throughout a society. I also had never heard of the Jaboya system before watching these videos. Hearing about how kids that are six and nine years old that don't have any parents and are basically told to figure out how to survive is incredible. Seeing the women of Kenya basically giving their lives away by participating in the Jaboya system was very sad. The lack of education in some parts of Africa is unbelievable. Also, if a couple teachers were to get AIDS that could jeopardize children getting any type of education. Another issue I didn't think about is how little food people have.This is where the Jaboya system comes into play because women feel it's the only way to feed their children.

        I think that culture plays a pretty big part in the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Where you really see culture playing a big part is in Kenya. The story of the Jaboya system on Lake Victoria is based mainly on culture. Since this system has been around for awhile the people living there continue the tradition. I think this is because they have never been thoroughly introduced to a better option. The women there believe that if they are widowed with children their only option is to take part in the Jaboya system in order to feed their children. Also, agriculture is an important part to most African cultures. Since AIDS affects most people between the ages of 18 and 35 this has a significant impact on the agricultural production because most workers are within that age range. AIDS has impacted both of these cultural lifestyles tremendously.

            I think that there are many solutions to the problems in Africa. However, I don't think the United States has the AIDS issues in Africa at the top of their priority list. Some solutions would be to provide a better education to Africans, open up schools that only focus on health, bring more qualified doctors into the poorer areas of Africa, and build more hospitals so more people can get treatment for the disease. The problem is that most of these solutions cost a lot of money which most countries in Africa don't have. The money would have to come from the United States and currently the United States doesn't exactly have loads of money to give away. So the cheaper solution is to have volunteer groups go to Africa and do their best to educate the citizens there about AIDS. The volunteer work usually involves speaking to groups of Africans and passing out condoms. But not all of the people choose to believe what they are being told. So although there are solutions out there most of them are not very realistic because of the money situation.

No comments:

Post a Comment