Since the discovery of HIV, more than 25 years ago, more people have been affected by this epidemic making it a global problem. It is estimated that more than 33 million people live with HIV globally and about 1 million of these are found in US.
This epidemic has claimed a considerable number of lives globally but majority that have succumb to this disease are found in Africa. Although there has been a considerable effort in combating this disease, there are still a number of challenges in health care prevention and treatment, capacity development, research and funding.
(HIV/AIDS and health policy Gable, 2007).
HIV/AIDS have been reported globally, the worst hit are the middle-income countries and poor countries particularly, Sub-Saharan Africa which inhabit 67% of people living with HIV/AIDS and 90% of children affected live in this region.
Women, represent 50% of adult suffering from this disease specifically due to gender inequalities in social and economic status and in access to health care prevention services.
Sexual violence against the women has also contributed a lot. As HIV victims, the consequences are always severe such as, loss of property if they become widowed, segregation by society members and added responsibilities of caring for the sick. This burden puts a lot of pressure to the HIV victims leading to poor health and in cases of inadequate food, malnutrition.
Because HIV often hits workforce of many nation, skilled workers are lost to the epidemic and there derailing economic growth of a country. Education sector has suffered in African countries due to lose of teachers, poor class attendance among the HIV patients and low staff morale due to poor health.
Health care facilities have been overwhelmed by the increasing numbers of patients hence making others to suffer from lack of attention. To add salt into an injury, most of the affected countries suffer from malnutrition, famine and food insecurity therefore intensifying the already existing health problems (Whiteford & Manderson 2000).
Government, have to therefore prioritize health care provision for HIV patients among its policies. For example, government in affected countries through their ministry of health should implement training programs for family doctors which would reduce the doctor patient ratio and hence ensure good health among its citizen. This can be done through mobile clinics.
There should also be a health funded program to provide free health services especially to HIV patients thereby reducing on the death rates. Government should on its part solicit funds from international organization to help fund HIV related programs in the country for example it can solicit funds from UNAIDS or World health organization.
These funds should help provide free medication and care to all affected parties in an effort to ensure sound health. Among the priorities government should focus on include; Reducing communicable disease HIV inclusive, developing human resources for health, programs on healthy living and lastly mental health programs.
Particularly, the policies should focus on: HIV/AIDS prevention among the vulnerable population for example, young men, gay, drug users, prisoners and commercial sex workers; Surveillance system which include setting up of comprehensive HIV/AIDS monitoring and evaluation system; policies on voluntary testing, counseling, treatment, care and follow up services should be formulated; there should be a strategy to offer occupational safety to health personnel hence reducing the transmission rate from patient to doctor.
All the above policies require additional funding and support from international organization and hence it would be upon the concerned government to write a proposal requesting for assistance. International organizations such as USAID and Global fund for AIDS have been really helpful in sustaining all the programs related to fight against HIV (Gable, 2007).
Although various government have come up with very convincing strategy on how to combat this scourge, there policies have been constraint by inadequacy of funds and in cases where funds have been provided, massive corruption have been witness hence hampering the efforts to provide good heath to HIV/AIDS patients. However, it is worth noting that great steps have been made and the number of people dying from this epidemic has significantly reduced.
Gable, L. (2007). Legal Aspects of HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Policy and Law Reform. New York: World Bank Publications.
Whiteford, M., L. Manderson, L. (2000). Global Health Policy, Local Realities: The Fallacy of the Level Playing Field, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000.