Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2011


My thesis research project focuses on the major factors that are contributing to the worst disease epidemic on the planet today. I have aimed to determine what may be some of the most important factors contributing to highly variable difference in HIV/AIDS prevalence rates are among the regions of East, West, and South Africa. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has been growing and expanding to new areas of the world since the first case arose in 1959 in what is now called Kinshasa, Congo (Avert, 2011). The AIDS/HIV epidemic is believed to have originated on the African continent, and this is where the disease is currently causing the most problems (Avert, 2011). In particular, Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing disease prevalence rates unlike anywhere else in the world (Avert, 2011). In order for the countries being most impacted by HIV to begin reversing the effects of this disease on their country, it is important to know which factors could be potentially the most important to do so. For comparison, this project focuses on three Sub-Saharan countries that are currently experiencing varying rates of HIV/AIDS disease prevalence. The country of Zimbabwe, located in Southern Africa, has one of the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the world. By comparing Zimbabwe with the East African country of Kenya, as well as the West African country of Ghana, I will be able to establish what some clear differences are between these three distinct regions of Africa.