HIV and Youth - Page 2
Factors contributing to the spread of HIV/AIDS
AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is caused by a virus known as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). But there are social and economic conditions that make it more likely that certain people will contract HIV.
Lack of education and information:
There are many reasons why people may not be able to get an education. Some lack money for school fees. Some may experience discrimination for example, education may not be considered important for girls, or ethnic minorities may not have access to education in their own language. Without access to education, and without literacy skills, people may not learn how to prevent HIV infection, which may occur through sexual contact, sharing drug paraphernalia, or mother-to child transmission.
Inadequate health care:
Many people learn about HIV prevention from their health care provider. But for those who lack insurance, money to pay for health care and drugs, or who live too far from a clinic, it may be difficult to get information about HIV prevention, or to obtain adequate care if they become ill.
The poor are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS because they are less likely to be educated about prevention. If they cannot afford adequate food, they may become malnourished, making them more vulnerable to infection. They are also less likely to be able to afford medical care and drugs if they do become infected.
People who face discrimination whether on the basis of their gender, ethnicity, race or other factors often find it difficult to obtain jobs that will keep them out of poverty. They may be less likely to go to school or complete school, and may have less access to health care, making it less likely that they will know how to protect themselves from HIV infection.