Monday, July 28, 2008

HIV/AIDS SCOURGE IN THE SOMALI DIASPORA


The greatest challenging malady the collapsed administration of General Siyad Barre faced was neither HIV/AIDS nor the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) but tuberculosis and malaria. One of the most underestimated chronicles in the world since 1990 is tuberculosis, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO) strikes 9 million people per year killing an estimated 1.7 million-84% of them in developing countries. According to WHO projection, between 2005 and 2020, about 25 million will die of the disease. If left untreated, each person with vigorous TB usually infects 10-15 other people. TB is a growing global threat. Human population intensification, urbanization, air travel, and other factors have increased contacts between people and spread TB, particularly in areas where large numbers of the poor crowd together. Additionally, AIDS weakens the immune system and allows TB bacteria to proliferate in AIDS victims.

Another dangerous world epidemic spreading like wildfire is the Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In any case, the million plus Somali Diaspora scattered worldwide is not immune from the growing HIV/AIDS scourge because of the tremendous acculturation and assimilation methods they apply-two major aspects expected by host governments from foreign nationals wishing to reside in their countries.

On the other hand, the multitudes of unmarried sexes intermingling freely speed up sexual contact leading to the spread of deadly diseases including HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD), abortions, fatherless kids, and increase of death among teenagers and the elderly. Social and cultural changes due environmental influences and abandonment of previous strict religious observances may also be attributed to the proliferation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among the Somali Diaspora.

Since there is no known vaccine for the prevention of HIV and no medicine for the cure AIDS, the view of the medical fraternity is that those who get AIDS will eventually die. There’re drugs that help infected people live longer though a tiny fraction can afford such drugs that are costly. According to data by the U.S. Census Bureau, AIDS is the leading killer among people between ages 15-49 worldwide.

Pornographic and other obscene bits and pieces available without difficulty from a variety of DVDs and tapes, satellite and cable television programs, hot and sexy magazines, alcohol and drugs, brothels and strip clubs, and easily accessible internet web sites plunge many immigrants into an unsuspecting world laden with an ocean of unholy materials. Rigorous bureaucratic applications in social services, health, and medical systems by host governments make it difficult for infected refugees to obtain retroviral drugs meant to fight the spread of AIDS virus.

Fear of social stigma and familial break up is another factor that prevents sufferers from seeking medical attention. Also, unprotected sex and shunning the use of condoms speed up infections. Qaad, a hallucinogenic drug grown in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, has been found as having great impact in the sexual stimulation of some chewers setting a dangerous precedent in the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Abstention and strict religious adherences, two important tools for the prevention of the HIV/AIDS scourge, seem not to be getting the right attention. The condom has been treated with suspicion and is often regarded as an object of sexual humiliation and Western trickery. To some it is referred to as ‘raincoat’-an instrument that blocks fathomless delightful satisfaction.

In conclusion, HIV/AIDS is, without the least doubt, an invisible creeping syndrome slowly decimating a sizable population of the Somali Diaspora regardless of locality.

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