Although HIV can be contracted at any given time, there are certain individuals that are at a higher risk for contracting HIV which include injection drug users (IDUs) and those who engage in unsafe or unprotected sex with an infected partner. In most Sub-Saharan countries, women are disproportionately affected by HIV due to various cultural and traditional practices such as early marriages that expose them to the disease. However, some countries show a higher percentage of men that are infected by HIV and AIDS. The following analysis takes into account the number of countries that report high cases of men contracting HIV and AIDS and the causes that contribute to such a high figure.
In this study, Slovenia displayed the highest percentage of men with HIV. The most vulnerable group of people in Slovenia are men who have sex with men (MSM). A report on HIV surveillance taken from 1999-2008 showed a significant rise in the number of HIV cases caused by MSM. The prevalence among STI patients also increased during that period. The HIV epidemic is quickly increasing among MSM in Slovenia. There is an urgent need for promoting safer sexual behaviors. Better testing and improved treatment for the infected is also necessary.
Countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have always been known to have few epidemiological data. Over 35,000 people are living with HIV and AIDS in Lebanon. A high number of these people are from marginalized groups such as MSM whose prevalence is about 3.6% and Injection Drug Users is 3.9%. An analysis in 2008 that showed the new cases of HIV reported indicated that 52% of the new cases were due to MSM. The prevalence was limited in the general population as few cases of HIV were reported. This was due to the high rate of condom-use in Lebanon. The only major epidemic is among MSM and surveillance should be used to identify and prevent the transmission of HIV.
Although the Philippines has the lowest rate of HIV infection with a prevalence of 0.1%, the country also has the world’s fastest growing cases. The fast growth can be attributed to the government policies that restrict gay people from accessing condoms. This has been a factor contributing to the significant growth in new cases. Another reason for the growth is the lack of proper marketing of condoms. These problems can also be attributed to the strong resistance by the Roman Catholic church on issues pertaining to contraceptives. Unless the government begins to publicize the importance of practicing safe sex and changes their stance of banning gay people from using condoms, HIV rates will most likely continue to increase.
HIV has become an epidemic which makes it important to campaign to demonstrate the importance of practicing safe sex is implemented to reduce the increasing rates. The governments and humanitarian organizations that work to eradicate the epidemic should come together and access ways in which to prevent the increase of HIV.