Congo AIDS Pandemic

           HIV and AIDS have affected many African, Sub-Saharan countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo. Aids have been spread through homosexual, heterosexual sex, breast feeding and pregnancies. 4.9% of the population of Congo has been reported to be infected with HIV but many people cannot tell if they are infected which are not reported (AVERT). Also, children are being infected with HIV/AIDS since there is a 20-45% chance that the mother will pass the infection to her child depends on whether or not she breast feeds her child (New York Times). Many people are suggesting resolution to this conflict in Africa but only a few of them will work such as educating the people of Congo about HIV/AIDS, provide more money for medicine that work against HIV/AIDS and to continue to promote the VCT also known as the provision of voluntary HIV counseling and testing (Washington Post).

            When the country of Uganda started its AIDS programs in 1986, 15% of the population was infected with HIV/AIDS. These programs called “Zero Grazing”, “Sticking to One Partner” and “Loving Faithfully” promoted safe sex and abstinence (AVERT).  It also directed people into getting tested for HIV/AIDS (AVERT). These programs resulted that the percent of the population of Uganda that was infected with HIV to drop from 15% in 1986 to 5% by 2001 (AVERT). If these programs were used in Congo, certainly the population of Congo that is infected with HIV would drop significantly as it did in the country of Uganda. Correctly educating the people of Congo of HIV/AIDS would only cause them to practice safe sex or abstinence lowering the possibility of an infection of HIV/AIDS (AVERT).  Also, teaching mothers that if they do not breastfeed their children it will result in a 15% decrease in the possibility that the mother infects her child (Washington Post). The counterargument claims that educating the population about HIV/AIDS will not work because of complacency like in South African prime minister, Thabo Mbeki denounces that HIV is the cause of AIDS saying that nothing has been proven to link the two. Instead, Mbeki supports the idea that HIV medications are the cause of AIDS. This complacency has resulted in a rise of unprotected sex and a decrease in the use of HIV medications which slow down the development of AIDS which results in a longer lifetime (New York Times).

            Promoting the VCT, which is also known as the provision of voluntary HIV counseling and testing, would cause Congolese to be aware of their status concerning HIV/AIDS (New York Times). People who have HIV/AIDS would most likely prevent unsafe sex to prevent their partner from being infected with HIV (AVERT). By preventing unsafe sex and informing people of their health status, less people would become infected with HIV/AIDS (Washington Post). Plus if one were to find out they had been infected with HIV, a solution would be to give the infected Congolese Antiretroviral drugs, which are drugs that slow down the development of the infection from HIV to AIDS. This method would not work if the person did not find out that they had been infected with HIV/AIDS after the infection has already developed into AIDS (New York Times). This calls for immediate HIV testing for a person after they have had sex, which would enable the possibility of the infected person to slow down the development of HIV to AIDS by using Antiretroviral drugs. The counterargument claims that VCT is too expensive and the Democratic Republic of Africa could not afford such an expensive program. Yes, this is true, but the money that is internationally being donated to the conflict of AIDS in Africa could go to making VCT free instead of a health care program. Which some people are looking into for Congo and other nations. Most people recognize the problem as the government of Congo cannot afford to promote HIV/AIDS. The actual problem is that the Congolese that cannot afford to pay for a test every 6 months or time they have sex (AVERT). This problem could easily be resolved by making VTC’s services free (AVERT).

            In conclusion, not only Congo but the rest of Africa needs to be treated with AIDS. If not experts predict that eventually two thirds of the Sub-Saharan population will be wiped out because of HIV/AIDS (New York Times).  11 million Africans have already died from the infection of AIDS and yet it is only inevitable that more Africans will eventually die from AIDS (Washington Post). It is our duty to help correctly educate and prevent the further spreading of HIV/AIDS so less Africans will eventually die from the AIDS infection.

A Man Recieving Treatment at an AIDS Clinic

A man from Congo is diagnosed with AIDS and is recieving treament. Currently, 4.9% of the population of Congo is infected with AIDS and is gradually increasing.


Chichocki, Mark. “HIV and Aids in Africa.” New York Times. 15 Jun. 2007 Good source. Gave me lots of information that I was able to use.

                “HIV and AIDS in Africa.” HIV and AIDS. May. 2009. Great source. I used most of my information from this site.

                Green. Edward. “The pope might be right.” Washington Post. 29 March. 2009. A15. Ok source. Gave me some information but a paragraph or two were off topic.

Last updated May 21st 2009 by Christian Barron