Aids - Disease Essay Example

After doing extensive research, the disease I decided to base my research off of is the disease known as Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, more commonly known as AIDS - Aids introduction. This disease of the human immune system is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV. This illness interjects with the immune system, making infections much more commonly induced by people with AIDS. This susceptibility gradually gets worse as this disease progresses. Obtaining HIV is possible in many different ways, such as sexual intercourse, including the practice of oral sex and anal sex.

Other ways of contracting this virus includes contaminated blood transfusions, hypodermic needles, an exchange between the mother and her offspring during the pregnancy cycle, childbirth and breastfeeding. This virus can also be transmitted by any contact of a mucous membrane, or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid that has the virus contained inside of it, such as the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid and even breast milk from an infected host. AIDS is not likely to be transmitted by hugging, unless the host has open sores and legions on their body and is in direct contact with you.

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AIDS is most likely to be obtained at the ages of 13 to 20. The virus and disease are commonly paired together as HIV and AIDS. The disease, AIDS, is a major health risk across the globe and is widely considered a pandemic, which defined, translates to an outbreak of a disease that is not only active over a large area, but is also actively circulating to new regions. About 700,000 – 900,000 Americans are affected at this present moment. HIV and AIDS, last year, killed a total of 3 million people around the world.

20,000 Canadians are infected by the virus and don’t know it, however, 35,000 Americans are also infected by the virus and don’t know it. More than 75% of people around the globe aren’t aware that HIV or AIDS infects them. In the United States, Afro-American woman are at a higher risk to obtain the infection. 95% of new HIV infections are among the world’s poorest countries. AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death around the globe. In the United States, HIV and AIDS are the sixth leading cause of death among those that are between the ages of 25 and 44, topped by accidental injury, malignancy, suicide, heart disease and homicide.

AIDS and HIV, on average, infect 8,200 per day. Every hour, this virus effects and leaches on to two Americans. Every minute, HIV affects eleven people globally. Women are 8x’s more likely to contract HIV from one act of sexual intercourse to another than are men. In previous years, such as 2009, the World Health Organization estimated that approximately 33. 4 million people around the world are living with either HIV or AIDS, concluding that 2. 7 million new HIV infections are occurring each year, with 2 million annual deaths caused by AIDS.

However, in the year of 2007, UNAIDS estimated that there were approximately 33. 2 million people around the world that were HIV positive, with AIDS causing 2. 1 million deaths that year, which included 330,000 children. However, 76% of these deaths in children were caused in sub-Saharan Africa. According to a 2009 UNAIDS report, since the start of this pandemic, approximately 60 million people have become infected, with an estimated 25 million deaths and 14 million orphaned children in southern Africa alone.

Genetic, but not extensive or conclusive research indicates that HIV originated in west-central Africa during the later quarter of the nineteenth century and early quarter of the twentieth century. AIDS was first acknowledged by the Centers for disease Control and Prevention in 1981. AIDS is considered to be the most severe form of the HIV infection. HIV, its perquisite, was acknowledged the year before in 1980. Treatments for HIV and AIDS, though available, can only slow the process of the disease, but cannot cure it.

There is currently no known cure for AIDS or an HIV vaccine, however antiretroviral treatment greatly reduces the risk of death and prevents new infections from being obtained, but these drugs aren’t very cost efficient and are limited around the world and not available in all countries. It is commonly believed that this infection, when exposed to air, can kill the virus. When exposed to air, a drop of blood can be killed within 45 seconds. With this being said, the only known method to slowing down this virus and potentially treating it, as well as AIDS, is to promote safe sex and needle-exchange programs.

During World AIDS Day, millions of people gather around to do their part to raise awareness and funds in the fight against the AIDS disease and HIV virus. The epidemic continues to ravage the world with its destructive behavior and continues to plague lives around the world. In no small part to the efforts of the activists, doctors, governments and everyday citizens, these numbers have gradually declined over the past decade. However, although we are continuing to raise awareness, there is still much knowledge to be researched and learned about the AIDS disease and HIV virus.

The symptoms of AIDS are often the cause of conditions that do not normally perspire in individuals with healthy immune systems. In some cases, symptoms may not occur for up to 10 years after the initial infection. Infection, with HIV, may or may not display symptoms. Symptomatic patients may experience symptoms similar to the flu or vague general symptoms that are identical to other diseases including diarrhea, fatigue, frequent yeast infection in woman, head aches, mouth sores, muscle stiffness, rashes, dermatitis, sore throat and enlarged lymph nodes.

These symptoms happen to also be common in many other diseases; only a blood test sent to a laboratory can determine a positive diagnosis of HIV infection. Many of these conditions are known as opportunistic infections, which are caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites that are typically contained by the elements of the immune system known as lymphomas. In addition, people with AIDS often have predominant symptoms of infections, such as fevers, sweats, swollen glands, chills, weakness and weight loss. The infections that occur due to AIDS depend in large part of the geographic area in which the infected patient lives.

There have obviously been many cases of HIV and AIDS since it was first discovered, however, cases like Ryan White, who was expelled from school because of HIV, make the infection and virus much more well-known. The most famous case of HIV is perhaps the case of the NBA legend known as Magic Johnson. Magic Johnson first announced his infection in November of 1991. He is the founded of the Magic Johnson Foundation to help counter HIV, which he later diversified to include other charities to battle other infections and diseases.

In 1992, he teamed up with the National Commission on AIDS, but left after only eight short months, stating that the commission was not doing enough to battle the disease. He was also notarized as being the main speaker for the United Nations World AIDS Day Conference held in 1999, and later served as a United Nations Messenger of Peace. Prior to Johnson’s announcement, HIV had more closely been associated with drug addicts and homosexuals, though his case was obviously different and didn’t fit those classifications.

He sought hard to convince the community that not all infections fall under those categories, and that people were at a more widespread risk, even if they weren’t drug addicts or homosexuals. Although Johnson wanted to make people aware of this infection, and to teach people not to discriminate with people who have HIV or AIDS, he was also criticized by the AIDS community for his decreased effort in the goal to making the disease and virus more national publicized. In order to prevent his HIV infection from progressing to AIDS, Johnson takes a myriad of drugs, including the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s drugs, which he advertised.

He has even partnered up with Abbott Laboratories to publicize the fight against AIDS in African American communities. During his NBA career, many players feared playing with him and competing against him in games due to his infection. They thought that if they touched him, they would get the infection as well. Obviously, this theory has since been disproven, but back in the late 80s and early 90s, the education of this virus and disease was so scarce that many people didn’t know what the infection was or how it was obtained.

In my reflection, I would boldly state that AIDS and HIV are both a devastating disease and infection. They can have life altering implications on one’s body, and in a lot of cases, are completely preventable. Unfortunately, not everybody is given the opportunity to protect themselves from this awful disease, however, in our country, in most circumstances; we have that ability to protect ourselves from it. For instance, one of my friends engaged in sexual intercourse with a female. This female had sexual intercourse with another one of my friends prior to that, and that friend of mine gave her the HIV infection.

My other friend, who engaged in sexual intercourse with her after my initial friend did, wasn’t aware that she had the HIV infection, but knew that my other friend did, but didn’t know that they had sexual intercourse before he did with her. After this experience was all said and done, he had an odd rash developing on one of his elbows, which is a direct symptom from the HIV infection. In retrospect, if he had practiced safe sex, he would have avoided the situation entirely, but he chose to opt against the use of contraceptives, therefore he plagued his own life with his own foolish decision.

I feel like this is a common trend not only in our nation, but around the globe as well. It’s a trend that needs to be stopped and it’s a trend that can easily, if applied, be prevented. Citations 1. ruxin, josh. combating aids in the developing world. 8-12 camden high street London NW1 OjH, UK: Earthscan, 2005. 2. whiteside, alan. HIV/AIds a very short ntroduction. oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. 3. Douglas, Paul Harding. The Essential Aids Fact Book. new york city: pocket books, 1987.

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