AIDS In Africa

The known history of AIDS in Africa is a short and a rather funny one. It is believed that the first case of AIDS could have been as early as in 1930. AIDS is believed to have come from a family of Chimpanzees. At first, the disease was only a rumor. Many people did not believe that there was any disease such as AIDS. With time and as more cases started being reported, it was taken as just a disease. Its spread was more in the 1980s. During this period, there were many men in the urban centers in Africa than women. These men were working in the companies in these towns. There was thus a great need for women in the towns. They were however not enough, and those present had to serve multiple male partners. This increased the demand for commercial sex workers. It led to transmission of AIDS and other STDs. Lack of circumcision also resulted in the prevalence in the spread. Apart from the towns, the spread of AIDS was great along major roads that were used by truck drivers transporting goods over long distances. Migrants like traders, miners and traders contributed to the great spread of AIDS in Africa in the 1980s and the 1990s.


When AIDS was first reported, a lot of theories about how it was spread were being told. There were a lot of misconceptions. Many people believed that even physical contact with an infected person was enough to infect an individual. Since little information was available, there was a lot of anxiety. AIDS was confused with other diseases. This created a lot of fear in Africa. People that were infected were stigmatized. Some behaviors like prostitution, some lifestyles, promiscuity and drug abuse started being associated with AIDS. Those people that worked in towns were feared especially when they returned to the villages.

Governments Action on AIDS

There was no treatment for AIDS. The World Health Organization started to sanitize governments to practice prevention by educating the people so as to change their sexual cravings and behavior. People were asked to abstain, be faithful to their partners and use condoms. The church and other religious leaders did not at first approve the use of condoms. Despite the threat, many governments did not openly accept that they were facing the threat of AIDS. They were afraid of causing panic and facing consequences of visit bans from western countries. Many infected persons did not receive help on how to live positively. The spread was rising.