South Africa and the AIDS Crisis

2160 Words9 Pages
The AIDS crisis has been a very controversial issue in the history of South Africa beginning in 1982. During this time South Africa has made a government transition from apartheid to a democracy. Since many national issues needed to be address, the AIDS crisis was pushed aside, leaving a pandemic in the process. Many factors have contributed to the issues including: poverty, social instability, high levels of sexually transmitted infections, the low status of women, sexual violence, migrant labor, limited access to quality medical care, and a history of poor leadership in the response to the pandemic. After three decades of controversy in South Africa dealing with issues involving the government, medicine, and conflict the country is still feeling the after-effect today regarding the largest AIDS pandemic. In 1982 the first case of AIDS in South Africa was diagnosed in a homosexual white man who was believed to contract the disease while in California. Later that year two hundred and fifty random blood samples were taken from homosexual men living in Johannesburg, the virus infected 12.8% of the men. When AIDs was first diagnosed, many Africans believed it was only a disease for homosexuals and drug addicts, this did not prove to be the case. The first death of a South African with AIDS occurred in 1985, while the apartheid government was under the control of President P.W. Botha. Botha held a press conference to address the threat of this disease for the country. As
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