While HIVE still has no cure or vaccine, certain drugs can help manage the disease so that infected people Can live more productive lives, and can help reduce transmission. Potential relations between climate change and WAITS may, at a glance, not seem reasonable, especially when it is a well known fact that HIVE/AIDS remission from person to person is independent of climate. However these linkages exist in a more complex, multi-factorial, bio-directional and may involve both direct and indirect pathways as illustrated in figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Climate Change HIVE/AIDS Interaction [epic source: CNN, SEARS (2010) The last 1 00 years have seen the world warm up by approximately O. ICC. However, over the last 25 years, the globe has been warming at the rate of over O. ICC per decade (Hadley Research Centre 2008). Heat trapped results in change of climate and can cause severe weather anomalies. The change in climate can be measured by changes in a variety of climatic indicators such as temperature, precipitation and wind, including extreme changes in average and extreme conditions.
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It is important to note that the world’s climate has been changing throughout history long before human activity played a role; this was mainly through orbital changes, sun’s intensity and volcanic activities on century time scales. However human activity has since the mid-20th century has significantly contributed to change in climate through the burning of fossil fuels and land use changes. These activities have resulted in generation of gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that reduce heat loss from earth to outer space making the earth warmer.
WHO estimated over 140,000 excess deaths annually by the year 2004 since sass (WHO, 2012) as a result of global warming and Africa is amongst the most vulnerable regions of the world (METER, 2007). The effects of climate change and variability negatively affect the social environmental determinants of health. Some of the effects include heavy rains, floods and severe storms causing major disruptions to society.
There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to climate changer but impacts are expected to become more serious as global surface temperatures become increasingly warmer (Canada’s Action on Climate Change, 2012). Studies done in southern Africa highlight the risk of declining conditions for the farming sector, such as frequent occurrence of extreme weather events (New et al. , 2006), delayed start of the rainy season and found major increases in mean rainfall causing soil erosion.
Reduced rains at the end of the season, has been responsible for crop failures especially for maize the staple food of the region, whose yields re expected to decline by nearly 30 percent by the year 2030. Climate change is expected to affect southern Africa across sectors including health (HIRE 2009), agriculture and food and water management (HIRE 2009). Environmental changes result in habitat loss, flooding, drought and food shortage, bringing about social economic changes including conflict, overcrowding in cities with poor sanitation, population growth and increased morbidity.
The direct link may be through vector borne diseases such as Malaria, which increase due to change in temperature, rainfall and humidity (EPIC 1 998); while indirectly as a result of environmental degradation or extreme weather events promote development and spread Of infectious diseases through migrations, food shortages forcing people to indulge in activities/behaviors for survival that they would not otherwise have engaged in (DID 2006). Climate change creates displacements due to severe weather events or natural disasters (EPIC 1998).
HIVE/AIDS spread is likely to be accelerated in such situations. The ability to cope with climate variability and change has been observed to be the mobility factor. Mobility is affected by social and individual capital and is a reflection of economic, psychosocial and physical resilience to adverse events. It a major downstream driver towards the negative effects of HIVE infection causing increased reliance on natural resources, resulting in environmental degradation.
When communities or individuals fail to cope, they become more vulnerable to WAITS infection which in turn leads to increased dependence on natural resources. The increased dependence on natural resources in turn makes communities even less able to survive, as they become more and more exposed to the effects of weather and availability of resources. Being infected with WAITS drastically decreases ones coping ability, leading to both behavior that increases HIVE transmission and also increased natural resource use (JINN 2010).
Wiser et al (2007) related food shortage with multiple high-risk sexual behaviors among women in Botswana and Swaziland. Women bear the greatest burden of climate change, partly because they make up the majority of the agricultural workforce hard hit in an environmental crisis. They often do not have sufficient control of their lives and access to as many opportunities to generate income as men they are ore likely to be poor and being infected with HIVE virus (Wiser et al 2007).
There are a number of direct linkages between the HIVE/AIDS epidemic and climate change in southern Africa. HIVE/AIDS and climate change have been perceived as profoundly linked, a perception shared by a range of UN bodies, including UNAIDED and the United Nations Environment Programmer, LIKEN. Despite progress in slowing the global HIVE epidemic, climate disruptions threaten to undermine the gains in fighting HIVE/AIDS as observed. Household vulnerability reflects risk of exposure, risk of inadequate capacity to cope and sis of severe consequences, all of which are made worse by HIVE/AIDS.