Public Health Assignment Paper on Comparing the Death Rates from AIDS in Africa and the United States


Compare the Death Rates from AIDS in Africa and the United States

            The deaths of people living with HIV/AIDS may be due to any cause, such that they may or may not relate to AIDS. In the United States, there are more than 1.1 million individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Among these, 15.8% are unaware that they are infected (Gehlert & Browne, 2012).  In 2010, approximately 15, 529 people living with HIV/AIDS died and almost 636, 000 people have died on the whole. In Africa, HIV/AIDS is a major concern in the public health sector and a cause of death  in various parts of Africa. Africa has approximately 23.8 million people infected with HIV/AIDS. More than a million people die each year and in 2011, 71% of deaths that occurred in the world due to  HIV/AIDS were from Africa (Gehlert & Browne, 2012).

What are Some Factors that Account For the Differences?

            Various factors such as poverty, antiretroviral drugs supply and stigma as well as homophobia cause the differences in death rates from AIDS between Africa and the United states. The rate of poverty is higher in Africa than in the United States. Poverty can lead  to limited access to HIV testing, medications and health care, which lowers HIV level in the blood that assists in the prevention of transmission (Gehlert & Browne, 2012). In addition, people that cannot access the basic things in life may find themselves in situations that increase the risks of HIV infection. Insufficient supply of antiretroviral drugs causes death in Africa. In 2010, only 5 out of 10 million patients living with AIDS received treatment due to the insufficient supply of ARVs and lack of health care providers. Stigma and homophobia are also an active barrier to the prevention of HIV and death in Africa. Stigma may prevent people from accessing HIV prevention services.  Individuals infected with HIV/AIDS may fear going to visit health care providers due to stigma thus resulting in death (Norton et al, 2009).

What are 2 strategies that can reduce the deaths from AIDS in these countries?

  1. Reducing HIV related disparities

            To support people living with AIDS and reduce their death, measures should be put in place to reduce disparities associated with HIV. This is achievable through adopting a community level approach to the reduction of HIV infection in high-risk communities, and the reduction in discrimination. This will make the infected individuals are at liberty and attend care, thus improve their health outcome and reduce the mortality rate (Barz & Cohen, 2011). 

  1. Increasing access to care

            To improve health care access and health outcome for people living with AIDS, there should be measures to ensure that these individuals are linked to continuous and high-quality care, and have an increase in the diversity along with the number of providers that deliver high quality HIV/AIDS care. In addition, HIV infected persons that have other health conditions should be given basic support (Barz & Cohen, 2011). Equally, this strategy should ensure that there is a need to develop better and new therapies, as well as improved drug regimens.

Are they the same strategies for each country? Why or why not?

            These strategies are the same for both Africa and United States. This is for people living with HIV/AIDS from both countries face discrimination and limited access to health care. However, Africa is more affected than the United States since the United States has actively engaged with a diversity of partners to implement the Affordable Care Act that ensures that people living with HIV benefit from Medicaid expansion (Gehlert & Browne, 2012). This also creates an increased prevention funding and created health insurance exchanges that greatly improve their health thus reduce mortality rate.


Barz, G. F., & Cohen, J. M. (2011). The culture of AIDS in Africa: Hope and healing in music and the arts. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gehlert, S., & Browne, T. A. (2012). Handbook of health social work. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

Norton, Mary Beth, Sheriff, Carol, Blight, David W., Chudacoff, Howard, & Logevall, Fredrik. (2009). A People and a Nation: History of the United States: Since 1865. Wadsworth Pub Co.