Healh- A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and the absence of disease.

Morbidity- Illness and reporting of the disease.

Mortality- The death of people. Measured in a number of ways, death rate etc.

Attack Rate- Number of cases of a disease diagnosed in an area, divided by total population.

Infant Mortality- Number of deaths of children under 1, per 1,000 live births, per year.

Case Mortality- Number of people dying from a disease divided by number of people diagnosed.

Crude Death Rate- Number of deaths per 1,000 people, per year.


An Infectious Disease

What is it?

  • HIV is the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes the illness, AIDS.
  • HIV is a slow retrovirus, which means that it takes years to show symptoms
  • It invades the white blood cells in the blood by literally writing itself backwards into them and reproducing itself inside the cells.
  • White cells produce the antibodies that are the body’s main defence against disease
  • Without white bloodcelss the body becomes a target for everyday infection.

The Spread of HIV/AIDS:

The virus is spread in the following ways:

  • Exchange the body fluids during sexual intercourse
  • Contaminated needles in intravenous drug use
  • Contaminated blood transfusions
  • From mother to child during pregnancy


Apart from the physical effects of the disease, sufferers may experience prejudice in their employment and social life. In some societies children are ostracized if one of their parents has the disease.

  • Life expectancy of much of sub-Saharan Africa will fall to levels not seen since the nineteenth century.
  • People in many southern African countries will not be expected to live beyond their 30s and populations will shrink.
  • Infant mortality will increase

Effects on Family:

  • Loss of income-earning opportunities
  • The diversion of effort and income into care and medicine
  • The withdrawal of children from school (due to lack of money or to be used as a source of income) 
  • Huge effect on farming, with HIV/AIDS threatening food-growing and income-earning potential in areas already facing food shortages.


  • Management of HIV/AIDS takes the following forms:
  • Trying to find a vaccine- research is continuing
  • Prolonging life through drugs- such drugs are available but expensive and is beyond the reach of most governments in LEDCs. However, the western countries have funded a free HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy) treatment for those infected.
  • Plotting the course of an outbreak- this is done by identifying areas where resources should be concentrated.
  • Screening blood for HIV antibodies
  • Education and advertising- education is seen as the main way in which HIV/AIDS can be controlled in SSA. Education is aimed at increasing the use of condoms and raising the profile of the disease through sex education.
  • Caring for victims and families- which involves charities such as the Terrence Higgins Trust.
  •  It is believed that the spread of HIV/AIDS is rooted in problems of poverty, food and livelihood insecurity, sociocultural inequality, and poor support services




This was very helpful :)