AQA Geography Health Botswana HIV/Aids

Explanation of the epidemic of HIV/Aids in Botswana with social, political and economic effects as well as treatment.

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Botswana HIV/Aids
Botswana is situated in the Southern African regions, and is a land locked country bordered by
Zambia and Zimbabwe to the northeast, Namibia to the north and west, and South Africa to the south
and southeast. Its capital city is Gaborone and the population living in
the country reaches a sparse number of 1.9 million with 46% of the
land urbanised due to the land being so dry.
People in Botswana have their official language as English but
Setswana is the national language. The life expectancy in this area is
higher than most LEDC's with men reaching an age of 56 and women
reaching an age of 55. Life expectancy has dropped significantly from
the years 1990-95, when the age was 65 to below 40 between
2000-05 though nowadays there are more prevention schemes and
treatment programmes in Botswana to deal with health issues. Adult
literacy in the country is about 81% due to many people being
The country is also the world's largest producer of diamonds
transforming the nation into a middle income nation. Botswana additionally, protects some of Africa's
largest areas of wilderness due to the dry land that cannot really be ploughed for crops but s great
to house the wilderness of Africa.
Factors helping to spread the epidemic
No money
There is not enough money in Botswana to help stop the spread of the epidemic and help it
from spreading out of control, quickly enough. Without this important money government
can not gain the right prevention tools to help deal with the spread, like more condoms or
education. Although, recently Botswana has had more help from other countries through
international aid as they were once, the worst hit African country with aids. This was with
help from United Nations urging them to gain international help to stop the epidemic before
it got out of control.
No Medication
In the early years of the HIV epidemic, Botswana had little or no medication to stop the
epidemic from spreading meaning more people became infected with the disease. This is
through the lack of available health care that was around in the 1970's onwards in Botswana.
Though the medication is not a cure it does help the sufferer to live longer and live a more
productive live. Without the benefit of these medications (antiretroviral drugs) the people of
Botswana fell victim to aids at alarming rates.
Cultural Differences
This is a main reason why people have fallen ill to aids. In Botswana religious groups are
against people using condoms to prevent the transmission of aids in the country meaning
more people became ill to aids as they did not use protection. Moreover, many people in
Botswana have multiple sex partners due to their cultural beliefs, increasing the risk of
transmission due to the shear number of sexual contacts that they come into contact with.
Finally, people with HIV in Botswana do not tell their partners that they have got the disease
and therefore do not take enough precautions to prevent the disease spreading.
Reasons for high number of deaths
A main reason for the high number of deaths in Botswana is due to the poor health care in
African countries as they are an LEDC and do not have the same access to healthcare as do

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MEDC's in other areas in the world. As health care is so poor, people are not diagnosed
with aids as quickly as someone in an MEDC. This then means that by the time they are
diagnosed it is properly to late for them to help in any way that could save their live.
Furthermore, HIV affects the immune system making the sufferer more likely to contract
other diseases easily.…read more

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In Botswana there are many different types of prevention and treatment programmes to try and
stop HIV/Aids from spreading all over the country and additionally, were the first African country to
provide antiretroviral drugs for all its citizens.
Public education and awareness
Before in Botswana, public awareness and education was mainly based on the ABC programme of
aids: Abstain, Be faithful and Condomize.…read more


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