Although the issue of HIV/AIDS has been researched extensively over the past few decades, it still remains one of the key factors affecting the increase of the death toll in a range of states. Based on the 2013 estimation, 35,000,000 people have HIV/AIDS (Global statistics, 2014). Statistical data shows that of all areas, the Sub-Saharan Africa regions have been affected the most due to certain environmental, economic, and social factors, the number of HIV/AIDS patients estimating to a total of 24,700,000 people (Global statistics, 2014). In Kenya, a 5.6 prevalence of HIV and a 0.4 incidence thereof was registered in 2014 (Global statistics, 2014).
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While, compared to the previous records, there is a minor tendency for the HIV incidence to decline, the situation still beyond atrocious. As far as the key determinants of HIV/AIDS contraction in Kenya are concerned, heterosexual transmission and the disregard for the HIV status of the partner deserve to be mentioned first as the key source of the disease: “In Kenya, Uganda and Malawi, over 80% of all unprotected sex acts by HIV-infected persons occur with spouses or cohabitating partners” (Kaiser et al., 2011, p. 1).
Age as Risk Factor
As the study by Kaiser et al. (2011) shows, the people, who have reached the age of consent, are the most vulnerable denizens of the Kenyan population. The specified age group includes both men and women, aged 18 (Legal/statutory marriage in Kenya, 2015). However, seeing that the age of sexual activity in Kenya is 16 (Legal/statutory marriage in Kenya, 2015), the specified risk group should include men and women aged 16–17 as well. One should also mention that the children of the Kenyan married couples are also under a major threat due to the vertical HIV/AIDS transmission (Forbes et al., 2012).
While the issue of HIV/AIDS contraction in Kenya is clearly becoming increasingly more significant, compared to some of the European states, Kenya seems to be showing a rather positive tendency. To be more accurate, while being the state with the highest rate of HIV/AIDS patients, Kenya has still been displaying certain progress over the past few years, including the aforementioned reduction in the number of HIV/AIDS contractions. Some of the European states, in their turn, have been showing a dangerous downgrade in HIV/AIDS prevention. For instance, in 2011, 1,300 incidents of HIV/AIDS-related deaths were registered (European HIV and AIDS statistics, 2011). Although the specified statistics are barely significant compared to the mortality rates enhanced by the HIV/AIDS issue in Kenya ( correspondingly), France could make much better use of the technological advances that are at the disposal of the French healthcare services.
Nevertheless, when comparing the data without attributing it to the level of economic development within the state, the social issues, and the financial concerns, one still has to admit that the difference between the Kenyan and the French HIV/AIDS statistics is rather drastic. While in France, there are thousands of people that have HIV/AIDS in Kenya, there are millions; therefore, the situation in Kenya is obviously much more deplorable than in any European or American state.
It would be wrong, however, to detach the data from the economic and political factors entirely. A closer look at the problem will reveal that the poverty issue and the unavailability of healthcare services aggravate the situation. For instance, the aforementioned issue regarding marriages could be addressed by spreading awareness concerning the significance of an HIV/AIDS test and the threat of conceiving children when one of the partners is HIV positive.
European HIV and AIDS statistics. (2011). AVERT. Web.
Forbes, J. C., Alimenti, A. M., Singer,J., Brophy, J. C., Bitnun, A., Samson, L. M., Money, D. M., Lee, T. C. K., Lapointe, N. D. & Read, S. E. (2012). A national review of vertical HIV transmission. AIDS, 26(6), 757–763. Web.
Global statistics. (2014). AIDS. Web.
Kaiser, R., Bunnell, R., Hightower, A., Kim, A. A., Cherutich, P., Mwangi, M., Oluoch, T., Dadabhai, S., Mureithi, P., Mugo, N. & Mermin, J. (2011). Factors associated with HIV infection in married or cohabitating couples in Kenya: Results from a nationally representative study. PLOS One, 6(3), 1–9. Web.
Legal/statutory marriage in Kenya. (2015). Infotrack East Africa, Ltd. Web.