Impact of HIV/AIDS In Tanzania


This research should give a wider view of the effects of the disease to the human population and labor specifically in Tanzania. Health system of a country determines the effectiveness if its workforce since it is not realistic for an ill person to be productive. The measures taken by the government to reduce the death rate attributed to the disease are impressive. This includes the establishment of awareness programs to sensitize people on HIV and AIDS, the preventive measures its management by those already victims. The government has also sensitized the people about peaceful coexistence with those living with the virus and avoiding discrimination. The causes of HIV are different, therefore, caution should be taken in all areas especially hygiene to ensure adequate protection. Ignorance has also proved to be a major cause of the virus spread. This is because of the unawareness among many people of the ways of transmission and prevention.

Impact of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania


The study of humanity has is the culture of a people. This is what distinguishes one cultural group from another. Currently, HIV, the virus that causes AIDS has raised great concern among all nations globally. Since it has no cure, there has been an urgent need to create awareness on the disease in order to enhance caution among people. Ways to deal with the disease have been devised to guarantee the victims longer life and health. This is necessary since the virus is a threat to the human population. Researchers are consistently trying to find the cure and vaccine that will treat and prevent the virus from harming people. This has however been tasking since the origin of the virus is unclear. Developing countries have been most affected in the fight against HIV. Poverty has significantly contributed to this factor. The cause of the virus is still unclear; however, sensitization on the spread of the virus has been extensive all round the globe.


Causes and Spread of HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

It is unclear what the real cause of the virus is. Scientists have suggested that it was a laboratory mistake though no substantial evidence is provided. However, the channels in which it is spread are common and well communicated widely all over the globe. Developing countries have however been the most affected. Socio-Cultural practices and activities are a major contributor to the spread of the virus in the Tanzania, which is a developing country, thus the negative impacts on its citizens. This is mainly because the people embrace their culture and are adamant to changes. For instance:

Child Birth

The culture of the Tanzanian people, especially the rural areas is known to be very traditional. Some concepts such as the method of childbirth are very keenly adhered to. However, this has been known to be one of the methods of the virus transmission. The people living with the virus have been known to show reluctance on finding medical and safer ways of delivery that will avoid the mother to child transmission. Studies carried out to find the factors that contributed to the spread of the disease proved mother to child transmission to be a major factor (Urassa et al., 2001). The rate of ignorance among them has also led to the spread of the virus unknowingly. Due to their rigid culture, the virus finds an avenue to the children who further increase the population of those living with AIDS.

Passage of Rites

Like most African countries, circumcision is a passage rite that passes children to adulthood in Tanzania. This in most case calls for a ceremony, which in most cases is traditional. Regardless of the modern ways where the children are taken to specialists, the passage is carried out in the traditional way where they use the same cutting tool on all the victims. In an event that one of them is infected with the virus, the whole group will end up getting the infection. This leads to the increase of the number of people who carry the ailment unknowingly and spread it to other innocent people.


The culture of the country allows a man to marry more than one wife traditionally. This is a common practice in most African countries. Studies have also shown that sexual intercourse with an infected person is the fastest way that the disease is transmitted. Therefore, for a man relating to more than one wife spreads the disease to a larger group than would have been in the case of monogamy. However, this only happens when one of the parties involved is infected with the virus. In the case of monogamy, the virus is likely to be acquired when one or both of the parties are unfaithful and relating with other infected people.


Effects of the HIV/AIDS in Tanzania

Following the increased rate of spread of the HIV virus in the country, Tanzania has suffered many adverse effects in turn. Scientists have established that the reluctance of people to adjust their way of life has contributed to the fast growing number of people with the virus. This has affected many traditional countries in adverse ways. The virus has affected Tanzania in the following ways.

Mortality Rate

Studies have shown that most people with the HIV virus in Tanzania are between the age of fifteen and forty four years (Grosskurth et al., 1995). Mortality rate refers to the rate of death among a people with consideration of the total population being assessed. A study carried out in Tanzania exhaustively revealed that death had increased with the increase in people living with the virus. The age and gender of the evaluated group was also put into consideration. Observations were made severally to capture the trend of the occurrences. Data was collected both by presenting questionnaires for the people to fill and by word of mouth.

The results gave a clear indication that the death rate had increased following the spread of HIV. Following the results of the interviewees, most of the deaths had been caused by the virus. In most cases, the victims were unaware of the symptoms of the virus, thus failure to seek proper treatment. The findings also showed that the ignorance of the people concerning the proper health care of the disease led to many of them losing their lives. Where the cause of the individuals’ death is unclear, an assumption was made that it was not because of the virus in the person (Barnett et al., 2006).

Economic Strain

The increase in people living with HIV has a direct effect on the economy of the country. The government has a responsibility to create awareness and provide solutions to its citizens when faced by problems. With the increasing number of people living with HIV, the Tanzanian government, like any other, is mandated to ensure sufficient supply of medication to the victims. The medication has to be affordable and within the reach of a normal citizen. Tanzania is considered as a developing country, which at times receives funding in form of loans to finance its budget. The government cannot on its own fund the medical care of the victims of HIV. The introduction of further expenses towards catering for the HIV victims has led to a strained budget and economy (Barnett et al., 2006).

The economy of the country has also been strained in terms of labor force and population. It is clear that the increase in HIV has reduced the labor force of the country. People with skills have not been able to exploit them in building the country’s economy. This is because their condition in its later stages does not allow them to work fully. Victims also leave their jobs because of stigmatization by their work mates due to the infection. Consequently, the working population happens to be less than that which is required. This reflects on the productivity of the country as it changes towards the negative. The available labor is overworked in order to meet the target, hence low quality production. The government being unable to utilize its resources fully suffers economically. They strain financially to fulfill their mandate of providing quality services to its citizens (Grosskurth et al., 1995).

The gap between the children and the old people of the society is becoming significant. Researchers have established that the death rate is highest among those in their youth and middle ages. Without the youth in a country, growth is minimal. This is because they are the young and energetic and in the most suitable position to work towards the nation building. Dependence on the older people is not as fruitful since they are not as active and energetic as much as the youth. Therefore, the country has lacked the adequate and sufficient labor that would provide for its economic needs as required. They have instead strained and spent more in catering for those who should be building the nation.


The increase in people living with HIV has left many in a helpless situation where they cannot make ends meet on their own. This especially occurs when the right medication is not availed in due time. In Tanzania, cases of people stigmatized because of their positive status are extensive. Consequently, many have failed to seek the proper treatment because of fear of stigmatization. Other people are simply not in apposition to afford the treatment and medication that can enable them live a normal life despite the disease. This is especially due to the healthy and quite expensive diet that should be taken with the medication. Eventually, the disease overwhelms them and they can no longer provide for their families, especially when the affected party is the sole breadwinner of his family. With these kind of cases in the country, the poverty rate increases straining the government in its fight to end poverty increase (Barnett et al., 2006).

Traditionally and culturally, a family is the smallest unit of a country. With reference to culture, the family should be made of parents and their children. Tanzania has faced radical changes in this system since most parents have succumbed to the disease leaving the children as orphans and without a means of survival. This has also increased the rate of poverty in the country.



Culture is a good concept of life and it is admirable to uphold ones culture. However, there are those that break and those that make. In a situation where the culture of a particular people compromises their health, it is advisable to make adjustments. Ignorance is also no defense for victims of any situation. In the case of Tanzania, the people succumb to the HIV virus because of ignorance and rigidity in their culture. They are reluctant to adjust to the new methods adopted to prevent further spread of the disease. This has caused the country financially, economically and socially. The basics of their culture need not be changed entirely, though the traditions should be more cautious on the health of individuals and the community at large. People should learn to embrace change and seek knowledge of the matters that surround their health and livelihood.





Barnett, T., Tumushabe, J., Bantebya, G., Ssebuliba, R., Ngasongwa, J. (2006, 15 November). The social and economic impact of HIV/AIDS on farming systems and livelihoods in rural Africa: Some experience and lessons from Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. Journal of International Development. 7(1): 163-176.

Grosskurth, H., Todd, J., Mwijarubia, E., Mayaud, P., Nicoll, A. (1995, 26 August). Impact of improved treatment of sexually transmitted diseases on HIV infection in rural Tanzania: randomized controlled trial. The Lancet. 346(8974): 530-536

Urassa, M, Boerma, J, Isingo, R, Ngalula, J, Ng’weshemi, J, Mwaluko, G, & Zaba, B. (2001, October 19). The impact of HIV/AIDS on mortality and household mobility in rural Tanzania. AIDS. 15(15): 2017-23.

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