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Seven Worst Things in the World Part I

By , York, PA
The AIDS Epidemic
Inarguably, the AIDS Epidemic is one of the most detrimental crises in the world. In this list, it is ranked as ‘the worst thing’ in the world due the large number of people painfully and slowly killed by AIDS. It is also ranked this way because of the continual growth of this death rate. AIDS is being transmitted from people to people every day, causing a staggering increase in AIDS patients. AIDS affects people from all over the world regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, and other physical conditions. As deadly as AIDS is, it is even worse to know that there are no known cures or effective treatments for AIDS currently. Debatably, AIDS is the most widespread disease in the world. As of 2008, it was estimated that about 33 million people are HIV positive, a certain indication of future AIDS victims. Every year passes by with about 2 million people losing their lives to AIDS and about 2.7 million people becoming new patients. Therefore, because of the fatality of AIDS, it is ranked as ‘the worst thing’ globally.
The HIV virus, the root of AIDS, is a fairly new medical phenomenon. In the 1970s, no one was aware of HIV and AIDS. The very first cases of HIV-infected people occurred within the homosexual community. Therefore, many people did not pay much attention to this problem because they believed that it was the punishment for the homosexuals for displaying inappropriate behaviors. Not until heterosexuals were infected with this disease did people really question the lethalness of this problem and start to combat it. Since then, HIV and AIDS have increasingly becoming a more and more dangerous threat to everyone. HIV and AIDS can be found anywhere in the world. Asia, Africa, North and South America, Europe, and Australia are all victims of AIDS and HIV. However, the most afflicted area in world is sub-Saharan Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from an unimaginable rate of HIV/AIDS victims, totaling up to almost 20% of all adults in these regions. From sub-Saharan Africa, the infection spreads to Eastern Europe and Asia, increasing the number of deaths by an alarming rate of 67% in 7 years.
Africa suffers from this shocking rate of AIDS/HIV victims because of the lack of education and the poor living conditions. HIV spreads most effectively through sexual activities, such as contact with sexual fluids, blood, and other bodily fluids. Unfortunately, many feel uncomfortable discussing this with other people, resulting in the ignorance of HIV transmission that constitutes to the increased seriousness of the problem. Unprotected sex leads to unplanned parenthood. This is also one of the major issues confronting the AIDS Epidemic because a child born from an infected mother is at very high risk of having the disease. Because people are not educated to prevent HIV/AIDS during sexual intercourse, more and more are becoming infected with HIV/AIDS. For instance, in Nigeria alone, about 2.6 million people are infected with HIV. In sub-Saharan Africa, an approximation indicates that 22 million Africans are living with this incurable disease. In addition to the ignorance of HIV/AIDS, the high unemployment rates in Africa generate the extreme needs of money. This forced many African women to become prostitutes or sex workers. These females are willing to provide sex for the exchange of money. Most likely, these activities will lead to HIV infection. However, they do not have many other choices to obtain their daily necessities. The government is not providing them with enough opportunities to get money. The dead rates and infection rates are only going to increase in the future if immediate and intense relief efforts are not introduced globally.
Even though HIV/AIDS is not as serious a threat in Asia as it is in Africa, its fatality cannot be overlooked as HIV/AIDS is only going to increase its seriousness in the future without appropriate relief initiatives. Currently, Asia is estimated to contain about 6 million people with HIV/AIDS. About half of this population lives in India. In Asia, most people affected by HIV/AIDS are within the high-risk groups including homosexual couples, drug users, and sex workers. However, HIV/AIDS has recently transmitted outside of these groups, making it a more dangerous threat to the Asian population. Without immediate measures to halt the growth of HIV/AIDS infection rates, Asia provides HIV great opportunities to spread because of the large population and high-risk behaviors. Europe and America are less affected by the AIDS Epidemic. The number of patients is more manageable in Europe and America than it is in Asia and Africa. However, there are still many people suffering from this disease, totaling up to about 2.5 million people.
On this list, the AIDS Epidemic is ranked first as the ‘worst thing’ on the globe currently due to its past catastrophic impacts, present fatality, and the prospective threats. As the worst epidemic since the Bubonic Plague, in three short decades, HIV/AIDS has killed about 25 million people worldwide. What is more detrimental is that this outrageous number is only going to increase in the future. About 50% of the infected patients are women, meaning that they will transmit their infection to newborns. In addition to this, the ignorance about HIV/AIDS in many regions of the world constitutes a major factor, perhaps the largest factor, to the rapid incline of HIV patients. Drug uses and prostitution are also contributors to this epidemic. Therefore, without a doubt, HIV/AIDS is one of the worst things in the world, if not the worst.
World Hunger
Ranked as the second ‘worst thing’ in the world, world hunger has taken the lives of millions of people every year who lacked necessary nutrition. World hunger kills about 15 million people every year. Even though the number of people dying from hunger is tremendous, it is not ranked first on this list because it is more easily remedied than HIV/AIDS. Unlike HIV/AIDS, which is an incurable disease, world hunger could be treated and prevented if necessary funds are exerted to provide food to the hungry people. Therefore, its potential threat in the present and the future is not as great as HIV/AIDS. However, this is easier said than done. The amount of money needed to feed all of the starving and under-fed people is a large amount of money, but it is not an unapproachable quantity. For instance, the money the world spends on its military for 2 days could help 100 million people out of starvation. This is not nearly enough to stop or prevent world hunger because, according to the World Health Organization, about one-third of the world population is starving, and about another one-third is under-fed. Every 3.6 seconds go by with the life of someone dying from hunger. Therefore, world hunger is a fatal problem in the world, however, it is more easily remedied with than HIV/AIDS. Because of that, world hunger is ranked as the second ‘worst thing’ in the world.
World hunger affects everyone regardless of gender, race, and age. World hunger devastates the world with its detrimental impacts. World hunger is caused by natural disasters, wars, poverty, and agricultural failures. Economic downfalls are also one of the causes of world hunger. People who are suffering from hunger are also more vulnerable to other diseases. Their mental and physical capabilities are impaired. Their inability to work also contributes to negative economic growths in developing countries. Therefore, world hunger is affecting the developing world as a whole, not just the individuals. The seriousness of world hunger must be dealt with immediately to halt the growth of the number of victims that contributes to the economic deterioration of the world. Because of the tremendous threat to the human population and its economic stability, world hunger is ranked as the second ‘worst thing’ in the world.
Natural Disasters
The next detriment to humanity is natural disasters. Natural disasters have been affecting many people from different parts of the world in different aspects. Natural disasters appear in many different forms including, but not limited to, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. Many natural disasters take the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, while others destroy all properties of an area, leaving the owners with nothing. The devastation of natural disasters often results in additional suffering to those afflicted with the catastrophes. For instance, a hunger often follows a major natural disaster where farms and crops are destroyed. Because of that, natural disasters are ranked as the third ‘worst thing.’

In recent years, natural disasters are becoming increasingly frequent due to many different factors. This increase in the occurrence of natural disasters is expected to continue in the future. For instance, in a ten-year period from 1985-1994, disasters around the world have accumulated to the deaths of about 643,418 people. After another ten years, from 1995-2004, this number has increased about 30 percent, resulting the deaths of about 1 million people. About 25% of this amount of deaths comes from a single year, 2004, mostly from the Indian Ocean tsunamis. The devastation that the disasters leave behind for surviving victims is also more detrimental over the years. From 1985-1994, the global disasters affected about 1.74 billion people, while the global disasters between 1995 and 2004 affected 2.5 billion people and destroyed or damaged about $738 billion worth of properties.
To provide an example of how detrimental and devastating natural disasters can be, it is worthwhile to observe the damage that Cyclone Nargis had caused. On May 2, 2008, Cyclone Nargis started to pass through Myanmar. After one day of destruction, Irrawaddy Delta and Yangon transformed from fertile cities to wreckages. The cyclone killed about 85,000 people, and it also caused the disappearance of another 54,000 people. After one year of this natural disaster, these people remain missing. Even though the winds’ velocity on the night of the disaster was as high as 121 mph, most damages were not directly due to the winds. It is believed that most of the devastation was caused by the tidal flood that moved inland from the sea. 700,000 homes were destroyed, ¾ of the livestock in the regions of that Cyclone Nargis passed through were killed, 50% of the fishing fleet were sank, and a million of rice paddies were salted with the seawater of the tidal flood.
Another recent example of a major natural disaster is the earthquake in Haiti. Early January 2010, Haiti was struck with a powerful earthquake that took the lives of thousands of people. On the 13th alone, in about 60 seconds, 100,000 people had died when a wave of the earthquake destroyed the buildings. These buildings collapsed resulting in the lives of these people. One estimation has concluded that the number of deaths could reach up to about 500,000 people, making the Haiti earthquake the second worst earthquake in history. Thousands of children were found dead under the ruins of schools. Because of the earthquake, 1.5 million people lost their homes and other properties. To reconstruct Haiti from the devastation of the earthquake, relief efforts from around the world have pledged a total of $400 million. The amount of money is used to help the homeless people from the earthquake restoring parts of their lives. The money is also used to rebuild some of the facilities lost during the earthquake. In addition to money, voluntary labor and other forms of assistance are very needed to help Haiti through this hardship such as disposing the corpses and providing medical treatments. As demonstrated, natural disasters are fatal to the lives of the victims, both dead and alive. People who survive natural disasters often lose most or all of their properties. This results in subsequent poverty that could easily cost them their lives.
The previous two cases demonstrate the destruction and deadliness of natural disasters. Not only are natural disasters extremely dangerous in terms of causing the deaths of millions of people, they are also injurious the economic, social, and mental stability of those alive. Quite often, people who luckily survive natural disasters have to restart their lives with no properties, money, or families. Therefore, natural disasters are ranked as the third ‘worst thing’ in the world.

Bibliography included in Part II.

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