HIV/AIDS as an International Problem


An international problem is any issue that has negative effects on human beings and nations. It is possible that these different states can cooperate for the purpose of finding a solution to the international problem. There are various international problems including international conflicts, disarmament, global warming, poverty, proliferation of weapons, terrorism, and human rights violations. However, AIDS is still considered the major international issue that affects every nation. Therefore, it is important for different states to cooperate in order to come up with a solid solution for dealing with HIV/AIDS (Condon & Sinha, 14).

AIDS is a chronic life threatening condition that is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus. It damages the immune system, which in turn interferes with the capability of the body to fight pathogens. It is transmitted through various ways, but the most commonly known way is sexual transmission. HIV/AIDS has no cure, but certain clinical medications can slow down the progression of the disease. Several developed countries across the world have used particular drugs to slow down the death rate caused by the disease. HIV is an international problem, since it is still continuing to decimate populations across the world with major places being Africa, Haiti, as well as Asia (United Nations, 26).

It is possible for different nations to cooperate in order to curb the problems of HIV and AIDS. However, it is not certain whether they will be able to achieve this goal effectively. First, these states may lack access to prevention services. Without withstanding the treatment strides of the infection, efforts made by the states have not been able to control the spread of the disease, or to extend the lives of infected patients. There are several reasons behind the lack of success experienced by the states (Condon & Sinha, 14). First, a larger part of the population that may benefit from the available control strategies does not actually have access to the treatment strategies. The commissioned modelers by the World Health Organization, as well as the Joint United Nations Programs on AIDS, have observed that the current interventions can only prevent 53% of HIV infections that may occur between 2012 and 2020 (Condon & Sinha, 14). Furthermore, a survey conducted in 2007 determined that almost one in every four people do not have access to the basic services of disease prevention, including MTCT prevention, condoms, education on AIDS, and voluntary counseling and testing (Condon & Sinha, 14). In addition, WHO also determined that international efforts have only been able to provide treatment to about only 7% of 6 million patients who are in need of cure as well as the antiretroviral therapy, and this number is increasing annually by almost 8,000 people (Condon & Sinha, 14).

HIV/AIDS Pandemic

Although some may claim that states are not capable of cooperating to fight against the HIV pandemic, it has been proven that the opposite is true. Therefore, many states are in a good position of jointly working to fight against the infections of HIV/AIDS (Condon & Sinha, 14). First, the international community strives to ensure that there is an enormous advancement in the treatment and prevention of the pandemic. This has naturally interfered with the pandemic’s natural history and has resulted in the decrease of HIV-related mortality and morbidity rates. Even though some states are less technologically advanced than others, international cooperation allows to share this burden. Scientists from across the globe also came up with the anti-retroviral drugs that have significantly assisted in the management of the HIV pandemic across the globe. The popular notable method as observed in most UN nations is the use of combined antiretroviral therapy, which is far more effective than the use of mono-therapy. The international community is also urging its members to reduce the price of the combined antiretroviral therapy from at least US$15,000 to less than US$150 annually. Therefore, countries have been promoting the use of this method in the public sector to benefit the majority of citizens (Condon & Sinha, 14).

There are various theoretical perspectives on the international relations concerning HIV/AIDS, including realism and liberalism. Realism is about accepting a given situation regardless of how it may look and consequently being prepared to deal with the problem. On the other hand, liberalism is an ideological viewpoint that is concerned with free political institutions as well as religious tolerance, and the support of government’s role in regulating capitalism in addition to constructing the state of welfare (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5).

These theoretical perspectives can play a major role in responding to the questions of these diseases. First, realism which accepts the situations the way it is can as well apply to the individuals infected with HIV/AIDS. These individuals should realize that when diagnosed with the HIV disease, they should accept it as it becomes a part of them (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5). In addition, after realizing that they are infected with HIV, they should start looking for ways of getting the antiretroviral drugs in addition to other preventive drugs. It is the duty of these people to ensure that they regularly attend hospitals for in order to be checked and provided with necessary drugs. They can also join various counseling groups to meet with other colleagues who are affected by the same disease so that they get encouragements from either side.

Through realism, different states across the globe will have to realize that HIV/AIDS pandemic is the biggest challenge faced by multiple countries. These nations will have to accept that the rate of disease is rapidly increasing causing infections and deaths. The international community has also identified that the sub-Saharan Africa is excessively suffering from AIDS. In South Africa almost 7 out of every 10 people are affected by the infection, and the growth rate of the pandemic is the highest here (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5).Therefore, South Africa should accept this fact and look for various ways of cooperating with other nations across the globe that are also affected by the pandemic in order to come up with a constructive solution (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5).

Most nations across the globe have accepted the fact that HIV is an international pandemic and that they need to work hard to help solve this problem. Through acceptance, these nations have gone further in providing various services that can help reduce the spread of the diseases. They have created various public points where HIV victims can go and meet their suffering colleagues. In addition, realism can also be applied to those individuals who are still doubtful about their HIV status, and be convinced to accept the fact and begin immediate medication. For instance, several developed nations, including Germany, USA, Russia, among others, have launched series of campaigns to reach out to their citizens with the sole purpose of persuading them to go to various testing places in order to determine their HIV status.

On the other hand, liberalism can also play an important role in answering the HIV/AIDS question with the help of the governmental and the religious leaders. Both government and religious leaders have the power and ability to involve various stakeholders in solving the HIV-related problems. Furthermore, HIV should not just be regarded as a health problem, but also as a political, legal, social as well as economic burden. It is, therefore, the role of the government and religious leaders to cooperate and involve, coordinate as well as mobilize the stakeholders for the purpose of confronting the HIV epidemic. They are the ones who have the capability of causing change. This implies that liberalism can be applied by the government for the purpose of motivating serious efforts with the sole goal of building and maintaining both informal and formal relationships between different governments, civil societies, business and communities. The stakeholders that can be addressed are healthcare workers, victims of HIV/AIDS, traditional and local community leaders, governments, non-governmental organizations, religious organizations, etc. (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5).

Liberalism can assist in ensuring that the process of involving as well mobilizing these stakeholders is implemented in a coordinated manner by the government. Every stakeholder may have her/his own reasons to consider counseling and testing services. The governments may also see the importance of balancing different interests around the promotion of public health. Furthermore, concerning the public policy with regard to HIV and AIDS, it is important for the governments to facilitate partnerships between various stakeholders across the globe.

What is more, liberalism can also assist in solving the issue of the pandemic. Free political institutions and leaders can apply a liberal perspective to ensure that every person who is infected is given the necessary treatment and preventive medications. Political leaders as well as various governments have strong power laid upon them for dictating how HIV/AIDS victims can be provided with quality medication and treatment services. The governments can also undertake a research program to determine the number of infected people and construct the budget to provide the antiretroviral drugs to these people. Political leaders may also decide to come up with free educational programs to help make the public aware of the pandemic and put them in a position to help themselves (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5).

Among all the theories, liberalism is probably the most persuasive one. Realism will only make the victims accept their situations and move own while seeking further preventive measures. However, realism has no power of actually assisting a large number of the HIV victims. On the other hand, liberalism looks from the government’s perspective on preventing the widespread of the pandemic. The governments are in a position to help the majority of HIV victims within their nations. It is the government’s duty of knowing and determining the number of infected people so that they can come up with the strategies of preventing the spreading of the pandemic. Most HIV victims across the world are still depending on the governments to provide them with the antiretroviral medications and therapy. Without the government’s interventions in the matters of HIV and AIDS, the mortality rates will plummet. Therefore, liberalism plays a major role in approaching the HIV problem (Dunne, Kurki & Smith, 5).


Finally, international problems affect every nation in the world regardless of race and region. Such international problems as HIV and AIDS have greatly affected several developed, developing and undeveloped nations. Therefore, various governments are struggling to retrieve a solution that would prevent the spreading of this pandemic. This has resulted in many global states cooperating together to solve the issue of HIV. For these reasons, many nations have been successful in finding various helpful solutions regardless of contradicting viewpoints of various researchers. Therefore, with the correct liberal approach, the states can and have the power to cooperate to solve the problem of HIV/AIDS pandemic in the whole world.

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