How does poverty leads to HIV/Aids infections among the youth? There are strong directional linkages between HIV/AIDS and poverty all over the world. According to ILOAIDS,HIV/AIDS is both a manifestation of poverty conditions that exist, taking hold where livelihoods are unsustainable, and the result of the unmitigated impact of the epidemic on social and economic conditions. HIV/AIDS is at the same time a cause and an outcome of poverty, and poverty is both a cause and an outcome of HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS and the Youth

Mostly, the youth population is the one carrying a burden of the HIV pandemic in world, UNAIDS regional support team director Sheila Tlou also emphasised that “Young people are particularly susceptible to HIV infections and they also carry the burden of caring for family members living with HIV/Aids. Aids is shattering young people’s opportunities for healthy adult lives.”

Five Ways in which poverty leads to HIV/Aids infections among the youth

  1. Poverty exposes workers to HIV/AIDS

Poverty increases the risk of HIV/AIDS when it propels the unemployed into unskilled migratory labour pools in search of temporary and seasonal work, which increases their risk of HIV/AIDS.

2. Hunger (due to poverty) calls for desperate majors

Poverty drives girls and women to exchange sex for food and to resort to unprotected sex work for survival on a day-to-day basis.

3. Lack of proper education due to poverty exposes people to HIV/Aids

Studies showed that people with low health literacy, had lower HIV disease related knowledge and were less likely to take and adhere to antiretroviral medications.

4. Poverty neighbourhood conditions lead to the increase in HIV/AIDS

People living in high-poverty neighborhoods face a number of other challenges as well, including high rates of violence, social isolation, poor infrastructure, high levels of incarceration, and a lack of HIV and sexual health literacy, all of which contribute to the epidemic in distinct and overlapping ways.

5 Lack of proper nutrition due to poverty increases HIV infecctions

An inability to meet basic health and nutritional needs worsens HIV transmition rate, increasing the risk of contracting other infections and hastening the onset of full-blown AIDS. And as viral loads increase from lack of access to care, so does the risk of infection to sexual partners, thereby further fueling the epidemic.

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Useful Sources

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/news/2010/07/21/8101/poverty-is-driving-an-hiv-epidemic/

https://www.za.undp.org/content/south_africa/en/home/ourwork/hiv_aids/successstories/youth-most-affected-by-hiv–unaids.html

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