The continent of Africa is comprised of many countries. Those countries in the Sub – Sahara have complex geographical and ecological habitats, diverse populations, different challenges, struggles, and success stories. As such, this continent should not be treated as a one size fits all situation as each country presents a different picture.
Countries belonging to the Sub- Sahara consist of the following.
- African Union
- Burkina Faso
- Congo (Brazzaville)
- Congo (DRC-Kinshasa)
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
These countries have been hit hardest by the HIV virus which eliminated a large portion of the middle aged generation, leaving a growing number of orphan children. An orphan is defined by the United Nations as a child under 18 who has lost one or both parents. In 2012, worldwide, there were 17.8 million orphans due to HIV and about 15.7 million (85%) reside in Sub Sahara Africa.
The Stephen Lewis Foundation works within the 15 countries that have been hardest hit by the AIDS pandemic in Africa, including Botswana,Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They also work with a number of regional initiatives. GranAurora is one of 240 Canadian Grandmother groups working to raise awareness and fundraise to support African Grandmothers in these countries.
The HIV virus has impacted every area of society n countries where development was already under stress:
- Life expectancy is low, sometimes dropping from 60 to 40 years
- Households have been devastated by the illness and deaths leaving the survivors with little or no income. As a result, children have had to leave school to work and/or take care of ill relatives
- Healthcare is in an extreme shortage as healthcare workers have succumbed to the virus
- School and education have suffered as teachers have become ill and children have dropped out
- Labour and productivity have dropped significantly
- Economic development has stalled or in some cases reversed
United Nations HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
In 2011, representatives from United Nations member states met to discuss global progress to the HIV/AIDS response.
This evolved into the 2011 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS which set down a list of 10 targets with goals to be met by 2015. The 10 targets are listed below. If you wish more information about how these targets are being reached, please click on the link beside each target.
The ten targets have been listed below with links to additional information.
- Reduce sexual transmission of HIV by 50% http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-1-sexual-transmission-hiv.htm
- Halve the transmission of HIV among people who inject drugs http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-2-people-who-inject-drugs.htm
- Eliminate HIV infection among children and reduce maternal deaths http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-3-children-and-maternal-deaths.htm
- Reach 15 million people living with HIV with life-saving antiretroviral treatment
- Halve tuberculosis deaths among people with HIV http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-5-tuberculosis.htm
- Close the global HIV resource gap http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-6-aids-resource-gap.htm
- Eliminate gender inequalities and gender-based abuse and violence and increase the capacity of women and girls to protect themselves from HIV http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-7-gender-inequalities.htm
- Eliminate HIV-related stigma, discrimination, punitive laws and practices http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-8-hiv-related-stigma.htm
- Eliminate HIV-related restrictions on entry, stay, and residence http://www.avert.org/political-declaration-target-9-hiv-related-restrictions.htm
- Strengthen HIV integration