HIV/AIDS threatens the development of countries with high HIV prevalence. This article focuses on the magnitude of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the millennium development goals (MDGs) for health. The article is based on a literature survey on the impact of HIV on child health, maternal mortality, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria. At global level 10% of child mortality is related to HIV/AIDS but the impact of HIV/AIDS on child mortality is much higher in high HIV prevalence countries being measured in the range of 27-42%. The impact on maternal mortality is difficult to estimate since the majority of pregnant women are not tested for HIV, but studies in a number of HIV high prevalence countries indicate an increasing negative impact on maternal mortality. The impact of HIV/AIDS on TB is significant. 9% of the TB cases are related to HIV/AIDS at the global level, but for the WHO African region alone, the impact of HIV/AIDS is estimated at 31%. There is evidence that HIV infections increase the risk for the progression of malaria in children and the risk of severe and complicated malaria in adults in stable malaria areas. However, the most evident effect of HIV on malaria is related to pregnant women. It is concluded that strategies to reach the MDGs for health must include a comprehensive and coordinated approach to fight the major health problems including a more suitable resource allocation and organisation of health services taking into account the many inter-linkages between diseases.
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