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AIDS in Africa

Health Precautions for Africa Travel

Universal AIDS ribbonFor some travellers to Africa, AIDS is not a real threat as it is a disease that does not affect the day to day lives of most first world countries.

For tourists who come here we always stress the importance of safe sex.

How can I avoid getting HIV / AIDS in Africa?

  • Don't have casual sex.
  • If you are going to have sex with a new partner use a condom – everytime.
  • Don't share needles or syringes.
  • Don't share razors, toothbrushes or shavers.
  • Consider packing a suture kit containing sterile needles, syringes and suture material.
  • Don't receive tattooing, body-piercing, acupuncture or other skin-piercing treatments and cosmetic procedures.
  • Don't receive injections or transfusions unless it is an emergency. If you must receive blood while travelling, try to ensure the donated blood has been tested for HIV.
  • Pack a supply of syringes, needles and blood products to cover the length of your trip if you require any of those for regular treatment.
  • Also carry a medical certificate explaining the supply.

Symptoms of HIV/AIDS

Infection with HIV often first appears as a flu-like illness that eventually passes. Although the infection progresses relentlessly, an infected person may not have symptoms for 10 years or more. However, throughout this symptom-free period, an infected person can transmit the virus to sexual partners or needle sharers. Following the initial flu-like period, many people living with HIV may periodically experience fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue.

The onset of opportunistic infections and cancers characterizes the advance to AIDS, the last stage of HIV infection. During this period, many people develop unusual types of pneumonia such as pneumocystis carinii, skin cancers such as Kaposi's sarcoma or other types of cancer, which lead to death.

AIDS in Sub Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2007 and approximately 1.9 million additional people were infected with HIV during that year. In just the past year, the AIDS epidemic in Africa has claimed the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people in this region. More than eleven million children have been orphaned by AIDS.


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Africa Travel Health Pages:

We reccommend you take a look at the following pages for Africa health information.

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