Origin, regional differentiation and dispersal routes
HIV / AIDS has spread in just a a number of years all over the world. Today, it is based on the theory that around 1940, the virus was transferred from chimpanzees to humans in western central Africa. From there the disease spread from the Caribbean to North and South America. In the late 1980s, the epidemic reached Asian countries. After Europe, the HIV virus was mainly in North America, the direct route of its spread from Africa to Europe was of less importance. A very strong dispersion is observed among drug users in Eastern Europe, where predominant source of transmission is through contaminated needles. Within a few years-since the outbreak of the epidemic-this immune system disease became wide spread throughout the whole world. The high global mobility of people and the modern means of transport available for everyone has made this process possible.
At the end of 2007, there were, according to estimates by UNAIDS (the UN programe to fight HIV / AIDS pandemic) 33 million people living with HIV / AIDS in the world. The age group most affected by the disease is 15-49year-olds, as this is the most active segment of society. This has had a particularly devastating social impact in poor countries,.
In sub-Saharan African countries there is an affected concentration of 22 million people, representing about two thirds of all reported cases worldwide. Swaziland has the highest concentration of HIV (26.1% of the population), followed by Botswana (23.9%) and Lesotho (23.2%). Of the 2.7 million new infections, the WHO estimates that by 2007,1.9 million accounted for about 70% of Sub-Saharan Africa. In second position are South and East Asian countries with approximately 4.2 million sufferers. In third position is Latin America with 1.7 million. Within Asia and the Pacific regions, a few countries focus on the cases reported there. Thailand, India and Cambodia are particularly affected by the epidemic.
The US is in first place among the industrialised nations. Here the number of patients has now exceeded the million mark (2007: 1.2 million) which is six in 1,000 people infected. The US is ahead of Western Europe,which has 0.3% infected and Germany, with 0.1% of the population infected. In Western Europe, the virus is transmitted most often through homosexual contact and among drug addicts.
Policy Responses to HIV / AIDS
The epidemic developed in a weak and especially poor continent such as Africa. War and related forced migration, years of mismanagement and dictatorial regimes, poverty and corruption and the weak position of women in society also contributed to the rapid spread of HIV / AIDS across the continent. The cities are where the disease appears to have increased, and the virus is found along the paths of it's major roads. Soldiers, traders and thousands of men in search of work, who use prostitutes become infected and carry the disease back to their villages.
Because HIV / AIDS is especially found in poor countries it is a barrier for development and therefore is always a risk in terms of security and peace. And so, it is a key indicator of human development in Zimbabwe's decreased life expectancy, which by the end of 2000, was at 49 years and by 2006, was at 43 years. The life expectancy in 1993 in the southern African country had reached 61 years. The economic consequences of death in certain age groups of adults are not overlooked in southern Africa. The worker force is falling and it causes production bottlenecks in agriculture. A study shows that agricultural production in Zimbabwe fell by up to 61% when productive members with HIV / AIDS were no longer available for work.
A: J. Schweikart, E. Astor; Ü: C. Fleming