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Yes, HIV can seriously slow economic growth

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Dr Anand Chaudhary, an MBBS graduate from the Tribhuvan University's Institute of Medicine, said that if HIV infections continue to grow at the current rate, the economy could become paralyzed, increasing health costs. If HIV continues to infect young people in productive age groups, there will be a global impact on our development. HIV-related diseases and deaths contribute to current poverty.

People are already feeling the economic impact of the HIV epidemic on the macro-level. Dr. Anand also argued that the cause and consequences of the epidemic are closely associated with other developmental problems. Without a doubt, if the epidemic reaches thousands of people, it will have a serious negative impact on the global economy. In a stagnating economy, the cost of treatment will exceed the economic value of lives. This will have an important impact on the rate of GDP growth over the coming decades. Per capita income levels should also decline in the future."

People will be affected during those years of productivity. Premature deaths reduce the resources available to educate children and, as a consequence, reduce the productivity of future adults. They cannot invest in their children's education. Doctor Anand's got his own perception. He further pointed out that HIV is most prevalent in the 15-49 age group. This age group is of major importance from an economic productivity perspective. This age group has once again become the most sexually active group. It just means there is an urgent need to spread safer sex practices and HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns at home and in the workplace.

Doctor Anand said "If the productive workforce decreases, the family's overall income will be devastated. Poverty, for example, restricts spending in health, nutrition and education. Lack of education will naturally lead to a lack of awareness about HIV. This also means less choice in the job market. The lack of employment opportunities pushes women into the sex trade. I agree with Dr. Anand that the economy would be severely impacted by thousands of AIDS victims. In the next decade. We have to redouble our efforts to mobilize adequate financial resources to deal effectively with the epidemic. The millions required for antiviral treatment would only be covered by external funding if national health priorities were not completely distorted. 'He added: "Long periods of separation from their families often lead migrant workers to adopt high-risk sexual behaviors are particularly vulnerable."

As health care costs increase due to AIDS, there will be a negative domestic economic effect. The decline in domestic saving will point to a decline in capital formation, which in turn will lead to a potentially significant negative effect on per capita income in the long run.

'I don't want to give a precise figure on whether this is going to reduce growth or lead to a public or political crisis or a financial crisis. But I know that the consequences would be dramatic and grave." Dr. Chaudhary said.
An elevated rate of HIV infection among economically active people is a real cause of concern. With few exceptions, many people living with HIV/AIDS do not have access to services and physicians sometimes refuse to treat them. The challenge is to train medical personnel, expand lab services, expand the care and support system, and provides voluntary counselling and testing services.

Treatment for AIDS - requiring antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) and highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). In a country with a low annual per capita income, health care without government assistance is almost impossible.
Decisive political action is needed at this stage to minimize the negative socioeconomic effects of the AIDS epidemic. It requires a multi-sector and multidisciplinary response. Unless resolute and coordinated action are taken against the spread of HIV/AIDS, the number of deaths and human suffering that will be inflicted will be catastrophic. If we fail to take action now, HIV/AIDS will become a social and developmental issue. Our built-up economic growth is destined to fail. It is also important to communicate a message on the use of condoms in response to the AIDS threat. Dr. Anand told me.

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Journalist, poet and editor Kamala Sarup specializes in reporting news and writing stories covering journalism, Peace, Public health, Democracy, Women/Children, development, justice and advocacy from her location inside the United States. Human (more...)

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