Honors Projects


Audra GillFollow


The HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa has been a public health crisis for decades, accounting for well over two-thirds of all HIV cases worldwide. About 13.4% of South Africa’s general population is living with HIV/AIDS, driving the purpose of this project to investigate why a country regarded by the United Nations as having a mid-to-high economic status is struggling with an issue that is widely referred to as a socio-economic crisis. Funded by the Hoskins Global Scholars program and BGSU Honors College, this project served as an experiential learning opportunity with Child Family Health International, a global partner of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. This project examined the South African healthcare system through the lens of its HIV/AIDS crisis via healthcare rotations in the city of Durban, Kwazulu-Natal. The findings of the project support that poor social determinants of health greatly exacerbated the HIV/AIDS epidemic, yet surprisingly revealed that many South African citizens, healthcare providers and educators attribute the severity of the country’s epidemic to the restriction of antiretroviral medications - a political decision made in the early 2000s that that the South African healthcare system is still dealing with the repercussions of to this day, even as the country grows in economic status and international recognition.


Public and Allied Health


Public Health

First Advisor

Sharon Schaeffer

First Advisor Department

Public and Allied Health

Second Advisor

Tim Brackenbury

Second Advisor Department

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2020

Included in

Public Health Commons