The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in African countries is extremely high. It is vital to note that HIV/AIDS is an enormous concern for the public health sector in African countries. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (2012), Africa makes up about 14.9% of the global population, but makes up about 69% of all the people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe. These statistics emphasize the fact that the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Africa is excessively high with South Africa being the worst affected country. Additionally, HIV/AIDS has detrimental effects on the African population. Smart (2006) confirms that Africa accounts for about 70% of deaths emanating from HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the prevalence is excessive and the number of deaths enormous.
Effect of Literacy/Illiteracy
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Literacy and Illiteracy are also determining factors when it comes to rates of HIV/AIDS infection and deaths. UNAIDS (2010) confirms that literacy plays a vital role in reducing the infection of HIV/AIDS, as most individuals are informed about preventive measures. Notably, literacy enables individuals to take appropriate measures that would avert unnecessary infections. For instance, most of them would use preventive measures such as condoms during sexual intercourse hence preventing infection Schenker (2005) asserts that illiteracy leads to increased rates of HIV/AIDS infection due to lack of information on preventive measures. Rates of death are also reduced among literate individuals because they can access the required medication using the knowledge gained from education. Illiteracy leads to more rates of death because of the lack of information and overall ignorance.
Education and Stigmatization
Lindley, Coleman, Gaddist, & Jacob White (2010) opine that education plays a significant role in reducing the level of stigmatization toward HIV/AIDS patients. It is vital to note that education enlightens societal members about accommodating HIV/AIDS patients as part of them. It helps people understand that HIV/AIDS is a normal disease and it cannot be transmitted through contact with the victims. Thus, the level of stigmatization is reduced as the overall society utilizes education gained to accommodate HIV/AIDS patients.
Wu, Wu, Liang, Cao, Yan, & Li (2008) opine that the provision of leadership on the necessity of reducing stigma and discrimination in national AIDS responses would also help in the alleviation of stigma. This is done through advocacy and the assurance of fair treatment of AIDS patients in society.
The inclusion of stigma in national HIV/AIDS strategic planning and funding will help reduce stigmatization. The inclusion of stigma in such plans would help in the reduction of stigma because it asserts commitment to caring for patients.
Effect of Education on Adherence to HIV/AIDS Medication
It is worth noting that education boosts the level of adherence to medication related to HIV/AIDS. Waite, Paasche-Orlow, Rintamaki, Davis, & Wolf (2009) reiterates that most educated individuals understand the procedures to be followed in cases of an infection such as HIV/AIDS hence ensuring they adhere to the medication geared at alleviating the impacts of the disease. This leads to better living among educated individuals even as they fight HIV/AIDS. On the other hand, lower levels of education among individuals affect adherence to medication related to HIV/AIDS. Chansa (2007) asserts that most uneducated people are ignorant and would not be so committed to undertaking all the medicated tailored toward reducing the negative effects of HIV/AIDS. Thus, uneducated people face enormous decline in their health due to non-adherence and this leads to faster deaths.
Workplace HIV/AIDS Education and Its Effects
Workplace HIV/AIDS education entails educating people at work. It involves passing vital information relating to HIV/AIDS to the working population at their respective workplaces hence ensuring they are informed appropriately. Therefore, workplace HIV/AIDS education ensures that employs understand prevention measures, management measures, and ways of handling those infected.
Brown, Trujillo, & Macintyre (2001) affirm that workplace HIV/AIDS education is vital in reducing infection in the overall public. By educating employees about protection strategies, they are able to exercise it in their normal life outside their workplaces. Employees are able to embrace protection strategies such as the use of condoms hence reducing HIV/AIDS infection. More so, employees can also pass the knowledge gained from HIV/AIDS infection to other members of the public hence reducing the infection levels.
Importance of Including Private Sector
It is vital to include the private sector in the fight against HIV/AIDS because private sectors would provide enormous resources such as finances to assist the fight of the epidemic. Chansa (2007) confirms that most organizations in the private sector have enormous resources, which would play an assistive role in the fight against HIV/AIDS. For instance, they provide financial resources that help in the purchase of protective measures such as condoms, which help in the retardation of HIV/AIDS spread. In addition, the private sector is important because it would help in advocacy campaigns. This means that there would be more campaigns to preach against HIV/AIDS and educate people about the disease, its causes, and the manner in which it can be handled. This ensures the disease is fought and does not spread easily because of the resources employed.
Private Sector Involvement
The private sector is important in facilitating the prevention of HIV/AIDS by ensuring adequate finances are dedicated toward the purchase of condoms and other prevention measures. This ensures that the disease is prevented effectively from spreading within society. Kalichman, Ramachandran, & Catz (1999) assert that the private sector also promotes the treatment of the disease by providing vast financial resources for the purchase of antiretroviral drugs that alleviate the negative effects of HIV/AIDS. Notably, the private sector also promotes education through informative campaigns and advertisements concerning HIV/AIDS and its effects. Mahajan, et al. (2010) confirms that education enlightens the overall public on the matter of HIV/AIDS and preventive strategies. All these steps boost the public health sector, as it does not have to bear responsibilities alone. Thus, there is intensified fight against HIV/AIDS by the public health sector.
Implication of Education, Reduced Stigmatization, and Reduced Infection Rates on Public Health
Increased levels of HIV/AIDS education alleviate the burden of the public health in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Education informs people about the disease hence reducing the levels of infection, which alleviates the enormous levels of commitment by public health. According to Rankin, Brennan, Schell & Laviwa (2005), reduced stigmatization also boosts the functions of public health as it gets support from the overall public. Low levels of stigmatization attract massive support toward the public sector and reduce the negativities of dealing with the disease. Reduced infection rates also impact positively on public health. They ensure the responsibilities of public health are alleviated and it works appropriately toward prevention strategies.
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