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AIDS in Africa





Bondings
I just read this article written by some American economist and it has some rather interesting approaches to the problem - I don't know if she is right though.

She claims that the high amount of HIV-infected people (vs the rest of the world) is not caused by a difference in sexual behaviour, but rather because African people are simply 4-10 times more likely to get infected when having unprotected sex with an infected person. This is because a lot of Africans have other untreated sexual transmitted infections, causing open sores on the genitals (which makes transmission much easier). Also genetic factors (not really mentioned in the article) may be playing a role.

This means that by treating/curing other diseases like herpes (which is much cheaper than AIDS treatments) in Africa, it is possible to radically decrease the number of infected people and even stop the exponential trend.

Other methods, like circumsision (still being tested) could make a huge difference.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/07/06/MNGANDJFVK1.DTL&type=printable

Pandemies like HIV can be stopped by stopping the exponential rate they are transmitted. If something is found that decreases the global risk of getting infected significantly (like 70%), then it will still be possible for individuals to get infected, but the exponential nature will be stopped and most people who are infected by AIDS will notice it before infecting other people, causing the new infections to decrease to almost zero.
ocalhoun
In a different, very huge, forum, I've seen it argued that stopping the progress of AIDS in Africa would be a bad thing to do. (I personally argued vehemently the opposite) The main point was that it would cause an inevitably huge rise in population, resulting in mass starvation in places where hunger is already a large problem.

Just dropping a unique viewpoint into the mix...
Bondings
ocalhoun wrote:
In a different, very huge, forum, I've seen it argued that stopping the progress of AIDS in Africa would be a bad thing to do. (I personally argued vehemently the opposite) The main point was that it would cause an inevitably huge rise in population, resulting in mass starvation in places where hunger is already a large problem.

Just dropping a unique viewpoint into the mix...

The food problem. Let me explain. Very Happy

There is a big difference between animals and humans. We make (let make by plants/animals to be precise) food ourselves, while animals only eat food from what they find/hunt.

Because of our current technological knowledge, it is trivial to provide enough food for all humans. We could probably (wild guess) produce enough food for 100 billion people on earth, with our current technology.

Even in Africa, enough food is produced to feed everyone on the continent.

The problem, however, is not food but money. Money to buy food. And if someone is able to buy it, someone else will produce/make it. Currently a lot of the agriculture in Africa is used for exportation, even if the own population is starving from hunger. Like the green beans from Ethiopia being exported during the worst famines in the world when thousands if not millions of people died.

AIDS is killing the young people, parents and teachers. Those are the ones who are the most important for the country (the working people and people who educate) and who are earning money. Treating AIDS and healthcare also costs a lot of money. AIDS is ruining the countries, monetarily. And without money, no food and starvation.

If there are only 2 people in Africa without money to pay for food, they will die. Put 10 billion people in Africa, with money for food and they will survive.

And a huge increase in population can actually be very good for the country, that's how the United States got so wealthy and powerful.
microgolf
i can agree with the overpop. argument, still, we then should work on that problem after we figured out how to stop that sneaky mother** a.k.a. HIV Aids.
nopaniers
It's an interesting article. I would like to see what someone with a stronger background had to say, rather than an economist. I certainly think that there is not enough emphasis on providing cheap and effective medicine to the third world. Some 13,000 children die every day from easily preventable diseases. The things people die of are often extremely easily treated, but they often don't have the facilities to treat them. If that helps the fight on AIDS then that's great.

Quote:
The problem, however, is not food but money. Money to buy food. And if someone is able to buy it, someone else will produce/make it. Currently a lot of the agriculture in Africa is used for exportation, even if the own population is starving from hunger. Like the green beans from Ethiopia being exported during the worst famines in the world when thousands if not millions of people died.


I agree that the problem is money, and world food markets. Poor countries have long been forced to remove all protections from their markets and go down very open market routes - thanks to conditions IMF and World Bank loans.

Another problem is that countries like the EU and US subsidise (with taxpayers money) and overproduce food. Prices go down, having a farm is no longer viable, and the country becomes dependant on foreign food.
palavra
Bondings wrote:

Because of our current technological knowledge, it is trivial to provide enough food for all humans. We could probably (wild guess) produce enough food for 100 billion people on earth, with our current technology.

.


can you give a source that try to show this with number and charts.
Bondings
palavra wrote:
Bondings wrote:

Because of our current technological knowledge, it is trivial to provide enough food for all humans. We could probably (wild guess) produce enough food for 100 billion people on earth, with our current technology.

.


can you give a source that try to show this with number and charts.

And to be precise, I didn't intend the 100 billion figure to be food at the level of the richest countries, I meant enough to survive without any problems. That means only a small amount of meat and fish and a lot of rice and other plants that yield a lot of food per area. (and of course there would be other problems not related to food)

And with future technological advances like genetic modification of plants and multi-level farming, this figure might rise exponentially. And not to forget the fact that we'll probably be able - in a not so far future - to produce food in factories, without the need for any plants to grow/nature. Of course it won't be as tasty as normal food.

http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/?p=174
http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/33379
palavra
thanks for the links

it is good to see there is a hope to feed 100 billion people.

at least need of food for this amount of people is constant
and everytime there is a hope to find better food producement ways.
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