Monday, October 17, 2011

AIDS in Africa

Watching these videos I was caught off guard. I couldn’t seem to rationalize the concept of fish for sex. Many women who have lost their spouses to death whether it be from AIDS or natural causes, are forced to by fish from fishermen for money. But to guarantee they get fish women have to have sex with the fishermen. This idea to me is a bit out of whack; women who are just trying to make money to feed their family are forced into an environment to have sex for fish. Even after having sex the women have to compete for space on a bus to sell their fish at the market.  In order to guarantee a spot in the bus women have sex with the bus drivers. So not only are women having sex for fish, but also for a place on a bus so they can sell the fish. Once the women get to the market,  they have to find a merchants to cell their fish too. Now many women will have sex with the merchants too, to garuentee their fish are bought. So essentially women have to have sex with 3 different men to gurantee they receive fish, space for the bus, and for their fish to be sold. This cycle is absurd, women shouldn’t have to have sex to get money for fish. In my eyes its degrading towards women and are being used because they have no one to support and protect them. Also they are not only at risk for not getting a guarantee for fish but also they have to worry about chatching HIV/Aids on top of that. Which adds more complications to the matter.
There are numerous reasons that HIV/AIDS affects so much more of the African population than the US population. To start with, the US is not as poor of a country as Africa; the poverty level in the US is much higher. The US has a better economy and stable government. The government offers healthcare for millions of people, and also offers health insurance and Medicare. The US also has more resources available for people to have physical exams as well as medical testing. Because of this, the US has been able to overcome the many obstacles of HIV and AIDS; they were able to create antibiotics to help fight and prevent the disease.  In the early 80’s, millions of people were being infected with virus, and doctors did not have the knowledge to handle it. Only through time of research and numerous studies they were able to understand the virus better, and learn new ways to prevent its rapid spread.
In Africa, however, they do not have the same luxuries as the US. The African government is very weak, as well as the economy. The government itself is not unified, and does not devote time or resources to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS.  They lack both the funding and support to offer the African people the proper healthcare and knowledge that could help prevent the virus.  Without the proper recourses such as health clinics and hospitals, it is hard to cure the vastly growing population diagnosed with AIDS. 28 million people are infected with AIDS, many of whom are not even aware they have it.  This is largely due to the lack of resources. In addition to a scarcity of clinics and hospitals, there is also not enough AIDS awareness. There is not sufficient education on HIV and AIDS to help inform African people and make them aware of the disease. Many African people think that HIV is a curse and pay little attention to the seriousness of the virus.  This lack of education is detrimental to the population; it is critical to be extremely conscious and informed of AIDS to help prevent it from spreading.

My knowledge about AIDS in Africa was limited before watching these videos. I knew that AIDS was spreading rapidly throughout the country, infecting millions of Africans.  I did not, however, know how deeply it impacted the population. Knowing that Africa was a poor country, I was able to conclude that there were little resources that people could use to try to prevent or contain the virus.  Along with being a poor country with a weak economy, I understood many women turned to prostitution. They offered up their bodies for sex so they could get money. In many instances they did so without using condoms, which only increased the chances of spreading AIDS.
The culture of Africa plays a big role in the affect AIDS has on people.  There are many cultures in which the men have multiple wives. If the man becomes infected with AIDS, it is very likely that he will spread the disease to each of his wives.  All so in some cultures they do not believe or will not use condoms which can increase the risk of HIV/ AID.
There are many solutions in helping prevent AIDS in Africa.  Other countries such as Uganda and Thailand have executed their own strategies in preventing the disease.  I believe that Africa can learn from the ideas used by these countries to help inform and prevent AIDS. In Uganda, the president traveled across the country making speeches about HIV and AIDS and how serious the virus is. He tried to inform his people directly with messages of abstinence, being faithful to your partner, and if you couldn’t follow those two then he promoted the use of condoms and safe sex. The president also created AIDS awareness programs that traveled around the country performing plays while providing entertainment to help educate people and make them more conscious of AIDS. These techniques proved to be extremely effective in preventing of and informing the population about the virus.
The prime minister of Thailand acted in a similar fashion.  He started programs informing people of safe sex and Aids awareness. These groups distributed condoms in efforts to promote safe sex. He also had banners, informational posters and guides throughout the cities to inform and educate the population. Lastly, he forced every radio and TV station to broadcast 30 seconds of AIDS information. These efforts decreased the spread of AIDS in Thailand by over 50 percent.   Because of this blatant success, it would be wise for Africa to use the same approach. If they started more organizations and groups to travel around the country, they would be able to educate a very large number of people.  In addition to informing the public on ways to prevent AIDS, it would be beneficial to promote the ideas of abstinence, faithfulness, and safe sex; the outcome should be similar to those in Uganda and Thailand. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Video Blogs

Video one asked the question “What is Summary”?
A Summery is a brief explanation of the topics main idea.  In a summery it is important you don’t uses someone’s exact words and also try to stay away from paraphrasing. When summarizing a topic you should use your own thoughts while containing information of what you just learned about.

When searching for sources for information, you want to use key words on search engines. These search engines will bring up numerous pages of information and sources for you to use.  However with all these pages and sources of information you don’t want to use to many key words and complicate your workload, you should try to stay around 2-4 key words.

It is important to use citations for others peoples work so you are not caught plagiarizing. Also it is important because it shows you have a general knowledge you know what your doing when researching and writing a topic. It allows you to use sources to you benefit to back up any points you have in your paper, as well as showing respect to the person who you have taking the ideas from. In addition it gives credit to its original source.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Thoughts on HIV/AIDS

The U.S. handled the rise of HIV/AIDS in the 1980’s very poorly. They did not take affirmative action on such an extremely serious. At the time of the early 1980’s the U.S. did not have a clear concept of what type of virus they were dealing with. The virus infected so many people at such a high rate, and killed many young people, I think the U.S. should have put a greater emphasis on trying to figure out this deadly virus and also tried to create a vaccine that could stop it.  The U.S. government did not even mention anything about HIV/AIDS to the American people because of political reasons, also for the fact it dealt with homosexuality, which at the time was unethical to talk about. By not taking any action to prevent HIV/AIDS made Americans, especially gay Americans angry and frustrated. Many went to the streets to protest to get the governments attention. Hopeing they would do something to help prevent HIV/AIDS.
Unlike the U.S., Uganda’s president Yoweri Muserveni was very conscious of HIV/AIDs and the effect it had on his people. President Musereni took matters into his own hands and traveled around his country making speeches in all types of villages and towns speaking heavily on HIV and AIDS. He taught tolerance and courage for HIV/AID, trying to inform people of the very serious virus. He promoted a motto that he calls “ABC”, which was part of the AIDS Control Program. The purpose of this was to protect people from HIV and AIDs, and teach them about the virus. The meaning of “ABC” preached the message of Abstinence, Be faithful to your partner, and the use of Condoms. The president also created groups such as TASO which was a group that informed people of the effects and causes of the Virus. TASO traveled around the country as well providing entertainment and instructions on how to avoid infection. The president was very focused and determined on the prevention of this horrible disease spreading and infecting more people. He made his country aware and knowledgeable about the virus. This tactic of prevention programs lowered the virus rate tremendously, and brought a bit of security to his people.
Also unlike the U.S. and president Regan Thailand was also able to create ways to prevent HIV/AIDS. The Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun placed HIV/AIDS on the national agenda. He was confronted by a friend, who for years had been handing out condoms to prevent AIDS. Anand Panyarachun named his friend part of his new cabinet, and from there they started prevention programs for the virus. They made it mandatory that every radio and TV station must have 30 seconds of AIDS education. They also hung banners and signs of information about the virus everywhere they could to make people aware of how serious it was. By doing this dramatic results occurred that decreased infection by 90%. Not only did the government make efforts to prevent HIV/ AIDS, the church also created a shrine with the ashes of dead AIDS patients to make people aware and educated the seriousness of the virus. They church also created hospitals just for infected patients. These efforts from the government and church drastically changed the dynamic of HIV/AIDS in Thailand, creating a safe and more informative country.

Monday, October 3, 2011


HIV/AIDS is an ongoing problem in the world we live in.  While it may not be as much of an epidemic here in the United States as in other foreign countries, HIV/AIDS claims the lives of 1.8 million people annually. 
         Since the epidemic began, it is estimated that the disease has affected over 65 million people, worldwide; this is equivalent to nearly 1% of the world’s population.
          While HIV/AIDS has never affected me directly, it infected a family member in 2005.  This, in and of itself, prompted me to educate myself about the disease and take part in charity organizations and events raising money to work towards a cure.  I have found this knowledge to be extremely useful, especially now that I am in college where many students are sexually active and do not take the necessary protective precautions to prevent the spread of the disease.  This knowledge has helped insure that I will not be one of the 3 million people each year who become infected with the disease.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gay Marriage

In the gay marriage debate, my understanding of the reading is that whether gay men and women get married, it will not make them anymore happier then without being wed.  Gay men and lesbians are fighting for right to marry, which in my opinion is there god giving right under the constitution, that says “all man is created equal”, which should allow gay men and lesbians to marry. However being married doesn’t changed the dynamic of their relationship, they will still have the same feelings for one other, and the same love and devotion to their partner.  For many generations homosexuals have not had the right to marry one other, and yet they have happier and longer lasting relationships then some heterosexuals who were able to marry. So why does the idea of marriage make gay men and lesbians feel that it will be the defining factor or “tie the knot” in their relationship?  

In my personal opinion which I briefly stated above, I think it is homosexuals god giving right to be able marry one another.  Homosexuals should not be denied the opportunity to marry the person they love just cause the fact that they are gay. In my eyes that’s discrimination towards all homosexual and an injustice to our constitution, which clearly sates all men are created equal. It also denies their pursuit of life liberty and happiness. I feel that marriage is such a powerful thing bond between to people that it should not be restricted to straight couple, but homosexual couples as well.  From personal experience I have dealt with this topic in my own home. I have a cousin who is homosexual and he just married his boyfriend of four years.  When I attended the wedding I could see the joy and happiness the two shared and the love they had for one another.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Page 736

On page 736 in the text, Whitehead writes: "On the one side, conservatives pointed to abortion, illegitimacy, and homosexuality as forces destroying the family. On the other, liberals cited domestic violence, economic insecurity, and inadequate public supports as the key problems afflicting the family." What do you think about this statement? Explore what you think are the merits and weaknesses of these ideas.
Both the conservatives and liberals have valid points in their arguments toward forces destroying families. However, I agree with the liberals based on their arguments on the matters of domestic violence, economic insecurity, and inadequate public support.  I think that domestic violence is severely detrimental to the survival of a family, especilaonly when there are children involved. I feel that verbal or physical abuse within a family changes the dynamic of the environment around the family. It changes from a loving and caring atmosphere to a surrounding full of hatred and fear¸ which I think no family can survive under. I also feel that no family can survive with economic insecurities due to the fact that our economy is in recession and the lowest it has been. Many banks, corporations, small business are running out of money and going bankrupt, therefore terminating countless employees which create a very difficult situation for families. On top of that results in inadequate public support from organization, business, and government agencies make more problems for the families.

On the conservative side I think that abortion, illegitimacy and homosexuality play a small factor in the problems afflicting families. I feel that abortion for many families is never and option, and there are other alternatives like adoption. On the other hand if someone were to choose abortion, it is not detrimental to the family. I also feel that illegitimacy is common in today’s society and that it is not a huge factor in the survival of a family. I feel you can still have a loving and caring relationship without having to be married, and can raise children in an appropriate environment without being married. My views on homosexuality towards this topic is impertinent, I think that homosexuality is not someone’s choice, but how they were born. In my eyes someone’s sexuality should not cause afflicting problems between families.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


After reading the article, my opinion on today’s tradition of marriage is still the same.  In today’s society the thought of arranged marriages is hard to fathom.  Unlike the times of Ancient Rome, we have the freedom to choose the people we want to be with and the person we want to marry. Not having this freedom would change the dynamic of our culture. For example, people would not have the opportunities to meet new people and try different things. It would keep us from experiencing the passion, commitment and love of others. Also, in my eyes the tradition of men being able to marry more than one person and have more than one sexual partner is unthinkable. I think this because I was raised in an environment where I was taught to respect and be faithful to your partner. Cheating on your partner is considered to be adultery and isn’t something to be proud of.
 This article made me feel fortunate to grow up in this generation and allowed me the freedoms of marriage.