AIDS in Uganda

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By Ariel and Laurel

Castilleja School

African Studies 2006

 

Background

In order to understand how HIV/AIDS is destroying Africa, it is important to understand how the virus works. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevents the immune system from working properly by impairing cell function. The body thus becomes weaker, as it cannot fight even small infections effectively. This leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), which was first diagnosed in 1981. AIDS is a more severe form of HIV which is diagnosed when one of 26 conditions (for example Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP)) is found in addition to HIV, meaning the immune system has reached a new low in functioning ability. (niaid.nih.gov/) The disease has become a worldwide killer, putting many countries into a crisis situation. Among the African countries suffering the most from HIV/AIDS infections, Uganda has taken action for almost two decades to fight the spread of the virus. Uganda has started programs that nations around the world copy because of their success.