Debora Spar and Nicholas Bartlett present a critical analysis of the origin of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in their article “Life, Death and property rights: The pharmaceutical industries face AIDS in Africa” .The article highlights AIDS as one of the most deadly diseases ever known and its rapid spread across the world. In this AIDS discourse, the article shows how the pharmaceutical companies have been overwhelmed with the rapid spread of AIDS in Africa. Consequently, the disease has killed millions of people not only in Africa but also in other parts of the world. Thus, there is a big necessity of search for a lasting solution for AIDS. Pharmaceuticals industries have been trying their best in the research for AIDS drug. However, it should be noted that the pharmaceutical firms are also profit focused and have been blamed for selling AIDS drugs at the high prices. Thus, an African continent, most of which consists of less developed countries, cannot adequately afford these drugs for the AIDS patients. Such unfairness has resulted into death of millions of people across Africa and on the other hand a number of infected and affected people continue to rise. The article also highlights the origin of AIDS virus in USA and tries to draw a comparison of the magnitude of infection in the western world and in Africa. It is noted in the article that African countries have high AIDS prevalence. The article further highlights some of the milestones made in the treatment of AIDS and opportunistic diseases. It is also noted that in this daunting task of search for AIDS vaccine and drugs, pharmaceuticals companies are involved in the fierce battle of intellectual copy right for drug discoveries. In addition, developing countries in Africa have little to do but to accept generics version of most AIDS drugs. In conclusion, the authors of the article lay emphasis on the variation on prices of retroviral drugs in different countries of Africa and all over the world. Pharmaceuticals, on the other hand, lament the difficulty in distributing drugs in Africa making it difficult to reach by most of people.
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The condition of AIDS scourge in Africa is pathetic and calls for a joint initiative of all countries across the globe. The developed countries should increase their efforts in fighting AIDS menace in Africa by giving out more financial resources, subsidizing the retroviral drugs, starting the research for vaccine and drugs. Secondly, it is responsibility of African government to use the aid given by other countries in a proper way. Besides that, African government should put more emphasis on the local initiative to reduce the scourge through strategies related to behavior change. For instance, retrogressive cultural practices such as wife inheritance and polygamy should be abolished. The rapid increase of AIDS in Africa is also correlated with poverty, and thus, all stakeholders should adopt strategies aimed at reducing poverty among the African people. It is prudent to note that non-governmental organizations have done a commendable job in the fight of AIDS menace in Africa. However, they should involve the victims’ opinion and participation in the fight. Such a practice will boost the victims’ self-esteem rather than label them as too poor to be self-reliant. In conclusion, Africa has a lot of problems ranging from poverty, diseases, unemployment and many others; thus, any successful solution in the fight of AIDS requires a real collaboration of countries all over the world which are not indifferent to this problem.
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