BOTSWANA by hedongchenchen



Background Information
-located south of the Equator in the Kalahari Desert in Africa
-bordered by Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa
-it has a population of about 1.5 million people.
-79% of its people lives in rural areas
-gained its independence from the British Protectorate of Bechuanaland in September
-the country suffers from lack of water due to unstable rainfall conditions
-it gains its foreign earnings from diamond mining and cattle farming
-It has a multiparty constitutional democracy and holds general elections every five
-The country has one of the fastest economic growth rates in South Africa

History of HIV/AIDS
-First recognized cases of AIDS was in USA in early 1980s (March 1981) with the
discovery of a more aggressive form of lung infection and cancers in predominately
gay men in New York and California
-By December 1981, the first cases of lung infections reported in injecting drug users
and the first case of AIDS in United Kingdom was documented
-By July 1982, cases of AIDS in heterosexual men were reported
   -In 1982, AIDS specific voluntary organizations were set up in USA, including the
   San Francisco AIDS Foundation and AIDS Project Los Angeles
   -Now generally accepted that HIV is a descendant of a Simian Immunodeficiency
   Virus, HIV resemble some SIV strains.
   -Highly likely that the first transfer of HIV to humans was in Africa (in Cameroon)
   and may have spread to USA via Haiti.
   -Spread in 1970s and 1980s due to increased travel
   -Blood transfusions was a source of infection, but with increased screening,
   transfusion rates via blood reduced

   -First AIDS case reported in 1985.
   -Estimated adult HIV prevalence of 23.9%, second highest country in the world
   -In 2000, estimated 300,000 people with HIV, almost every 1 in 4 adults
   -Estimated 95000 children have lost at least 1 parent to AIDS
   -Life expectancy at birth fell from 65 years in 1995 to less than 40 years in 2000
   -Loss of adults has had economic implications with increased numbers of families in
   poverty with loss of income. Agriculture and mining are most affected industries.
   -Between 1987-1989, main focus was to screen blood to eliminate risk of HIV
   transmission via blood transfusion
   -During 1989-1997 was increased information, education and communication to the
   -1993, government adopted Botswana National Policy on AIDS
   -1997 onwards, preventative care along wit antiretroviral treatment was the main
   focus. Emphasis was also placed on reducing impact of HIV/AIDS at all levels of
   -ACHAP (African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships) and BOTUSA project
   provide public health and antiretroviral medication, including Stocrin, Crixivan,
   Atripla, and Isentress.
   -“Prevention programs focus on public education, educating the young, condom
   distribution, targeting high risk people including migrant and sex workers, ensuring
   safety of blood products and preventing mother to child transmission.” ( Avert)
   -Pledge 25 is a project that teaches young people how to prevent HIV infection and
   encourages them to donate 25 times during their life.
   -The prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program distributes
   antiretroviral drugs and performs a routine HIV test to all pregnant women. “ HIV+
   women who choose not to breastfeed are given 1 year free supply of formula
   -Between November 2006 and February 2007, less than 4% of babies born to HIV+
   mothers were infected, similar to rates in USA and Western Europe.” (Avert)

The Future of HIV/AIDS
Botswana’s treatment program is a model for other African countries. With the rapid
progress of the program in 2004-2005, its effectiveness is similar to those seen in USA
and Europe. The cost of treatment has been paid by the government and companies have
provided the necessary lab equipment and staff training. The main hurdle in the future is
to provide antiretroviral drugs and monitor everyone in the program for the rest of their
lives. If they develop resistance, other options must be provided. Also, spread of the
program has yet to reach the rural areas, which is difficult with the shortage of people and
resources. Currently, the money spent on the government programs is at its limit and
cannot be sustained at the high rate forever. Other countries are able to provide money
only for so long before Botswana has to look for other means of support. The main goal
of the former President is prevention to stop the transmission of HIV/AIDS. The
country’s goal is to have no new HIV infections by 2016, when Botswana will have 50
years of independence.

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