Christian Long

Emily Oster: Flips Our Thinking on AIDS in Africa

In TED Talks on May 20, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Reflection by HANNAH W.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Emily Oster:  Flips Our Thinking on AIDS in Africa

In this TED talk, Emily Oster talks about AIDS in Africa. The first thing that comes to mid when people hear the word “AIDS” is death, a disease that can’t be cured and most popularly the continent Africa. However, according to Oster, everything that we think we know about Africa and HIV is completely incorrect.

When I saw this video, it became more interesting to me. Oster talked about malaria and the behavior change with HIV. It’s strange how where there are areas with high levels of malaria, the number of sexual partners increased a little. However, when the malaria is low, the level of sexual partners decrease. She stated that “We have no consistent testing. I agree with this. You just can’t test people who are STD patients, pregnant women, or IV drug users. You have to test everyone because you could have people who aren’t patients that don’t could have the disease and don’t even know it. This is why there is such a huge gap in the results all together. She states that “more exports means more AIDS.” I agree with her on this statement. To me it’s basically a big transfer. I think that maybe the number of HIV could be decreased if information about this disease was spread out into the people more. Another statement she said is “that improving poverty, it’s not necessarily the case that’s going to lead to a decline in HIV prevalence.” If you look at some cases in the United States, areas may have no poverty. However, you can still have people who have the disease.

I think that it is mainly the choice of that person in this situation. They can know about the disease very well, but still choose to have unprotected sex or have multiple partners. I mainly believe that the word about AIDS and HIV needs to go out not only into the United States, but the whole world. People need to see the consequences that AIDS and HIV have because it is highly dangerous. If not then this whole epidemic will not only effect just Africa but other countries globally.

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