Can technology be a vital tool in weathering the storm of HIV/AIDS?

Instead of governments pouring money into governments, maybe a different approach should be taken to in combating HIV/AIDS. What if the international community focused on providing resources for communities dying from AIDS to help combat this disease? I propose technology mainly because it covers both the prevention and care of patient’s dimensions of combating AIDS.  In addition, it will be addressing the five dimensions of healthcare. Technology is needed in hospitals, communities and in schools. Providing biomedical technology like low-cost AIDS testing instruments would make testing available to all AIDS patients. At present the flow cytometers cost about $100,000 and are complex in maintaining and operating. Cytometers are used to test the presence of AIDS and CD4 cells. Testing is needed  to detect the advancement of the disease before the patients to receive treatment However, because the machines are scarce in Africa, and expensive, most people do not have access to this testing in order to receive treatment. The international communities can do two things to make sure that treatment is available.
1. Help researchers like Dr. J Paul Robinson of Purdue in making sure that low-cost cytometers are available so that they are attainable by all low-income countries.
2. Buy these machines and donate them to hospitals and community testing centers.
This would help patients who are able to receive AZT (AIDS infusion drug) have access to this treatment. This would also make it easier to know how to adequately
Technology is also needed in hospitals to be able to test for clean blood for infusions. This would prevent further spread of the disease in people that are otherwise HIV free. The same technology can be used for research. This would include vacuum pumps, high tech biomedical equipments. In being able to provide good research equipment would make the process of AIDS research much more quicker and efficient.
There is another part of combating AIDS that technology will play a big role in-prevention. Computers, media sources, mass education equipment are some ways to help in prevention. Schools in Africa do not have technology that enables them to learn adequately. Computers do not exist or exist in rarity, which can be a challenge to get access to information that is mostly on the web.  Therefore, providing technology in schools would enable the students to be able to learn and give them a competitive edge in the globalized society.
AIDS is a disease that focuses on behavior. Therefore for behavioral change, there are several measures that need to be taken. There is a surge of community programs that are targeted to the youth of Africa especially the orphans. These communities are aimed at restoring the children’s hope in the future and give them an alternative to living in the streets. In these communities, the children are educated about AIDS, and also introduced to programs that enhances their talents. This is one way to change behaviors. If the young people are bored, they find other means to keep them busy. By giving them an alternative to boredom, and building their self-worth, there is a big chance that behaviors are bound to change because they are not so willing to throw their lives away. Therefore, I suggest we take the example of the World Bank in providing aid that is focused on communities to avoid Bureaucracy.


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