HIV/AIDs and unplanned pregnancies among African teens
post a brief description of a current public health disease surveillance or health informatics issue about
which you might be interested in conducting further research for a possible dissertation HIV and
pregnancy among african teens. Then explain why that issue interests you. Finally, describe two ways the
information you gathered in this course can be applied to your future dissertation research or your role as
a scholar-practitioner. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your points.
Approximately one in ten adults is suffering from HIV in Africa. . One third of
HIV/AIDS cases are from Africa. Research estimates that 26 million Africans are infected with
HIV virus. In sub- Saharan Africa countries, the overall prevalence rate is above 25%.
Approximately 3.8 million young people in sub-Saharan are infected with the HIV virus; 72% of
whom are women. Research approximates there are 14 million orphans in Africa. However, there
is limited literature on mortality statistics in the last decades. This is mainly due to the poor
disease surveillance system and inadequate resources to store the vital health records in the
public health sector. Additionally, the existing disease prevalence’s are mere estimates from
random testing carried out during campaigns and awareness (Tedika, 2014).
There are two approaches devoted to AIDs in Africa. One approach investigates on the
consequences and the other approach evaluates the epidemic determinants. One of the risk
factors for the high prevalence rates in Africa is alcohol abuse among the teens. Alcoholism is
associated with increased risk behaviors such as unprotected sex. Research estimates 70%
increase risk for HIV infection in alcohol consumers than nondrinkers(Tedika, 2014).
Additionally, there are high rates of sexual abuse and coercion in African female. Literature
documents the consequences of sexual victimization including unplanned pregnancy, STIs and
high rates of HIV infection. Other risk factors are the common early marriages. Most of these
adolescents are clueless about HIV; and are more vulnerable that they cannot demand use of
protection from their counterparts. For instance, research conducted in Uganda indicated that
28% increase in HIV prevalence rate among the young married women (Advocates for youth,
Additionally, many youths in Africa inject drugs. This accounts for the largest increase of
transmission rate in Africa. Most HIV infections are also linked to commercial sex work. Owing
to the high level of poverty and unemployment in Africa, the youths seek alternative approaches
to sustain their livelihood. A study conducted in one country in Africa; where the prevalence
rates of workers about 80% in the population, there were 75% increase of STI infection rates.
HIV/ AIDs threaten the continents economy due to the decreased productivity. Additionally, it
jeopardizes agricultural industry, education sector, infrastructure and other sectors due to
absenteeism and mortality. Worse still, it will jeopardize the efforts of attaining the MDGs
(Advocates for youth, 2012).
Evidently, the youths under 25 years have greater risk of HIV infection. However,
lumping up the youth in a single age group could be misleading. For instance, the prevalence
rates of 15-19 age group is significantly lower than that of 20-24. This implies the approach
advocated for objective assessments on prevalence and trends in Africa is inappropriate; this
indicates that there are possibilities of inaccuracy in reporting the HIV incidences in Africa.
There is need for further investigation on the status of HIV and teen pregnancies in Africa. The
research should evaluate the risk behavior; the environmental risk factors; and HIV epidemic
among African youths by evaluating the risky behavioral patterns with their prevailing biological
markers. Additionally, the study should focus on strategic interventions such as legislative
measures against sexual coercion and sexual victimization. In summation, all stake holders
should collaborate to ensure the continent moves forward. With the unparalleled funding,
commitment from political sector and donors, there is an opportunity to save African youths
from the deadly syndrome (Advocates for youth, 2012).
Advocates for youth (2012) “Youth and the global HIV pandemic: reaching key affected
populations and empowering a generation.”
Tedika, OK. (2014) HIV/AIDs and alcohol: Re-examination of the relation from Africa data.