AIDS and Hatred


Today adolescents of both sexes face a serious risk of HIV infection, which is the cause of AIDS. AIDS is a chronic and most often fatal disease. Despite growing understanding and awareness, HIV infection is a serious threat to both heterosexual and homosexual teens. When adolescents take certain risks, they are more likely to become infected with HIV and develop AIDS:


These are the most important facts about AIDS:



o AIDS is most often fatal
o Anyone can get AIDS - many teens (both boys and girls) have been infected
o Condoms can reduce the risk of getting AIDS
o You can get AIDS from use of even one contaminated needle or one sexual act with a partner who has HIV/AIDS
Risk of AIDS is increased by:



o an increased number of sexual partners
o IV drug use
o anal intercourse
o any sex (oral, anal or vaginal) without condoms
o alcohol and other drug use (sex is more impulsive and use of condoms less likely if under the influence of alcohol or other drugs)
o tattoos and body piercing with contaminated (unsterile) needles or instruments
AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a chronic illness caused by infection with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus). Millions of Americans are believed to be infected with HIV. Some of them have AIDS, but most have no symptoms at all, and many do not know they are infected. Despite significant advances in available medical treatment for HIV, there are no definitive cures or vaccines that can prevent the disease. New treatments have enabled many people with AIDS to live longer. AIDS can be prevented by avoiding risk behaviors.


HIV is transmitted through exchange of certain bodily fluids such as blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk. To produce an infection, the virus must pass through the skin or mucous membranes into the body.


HIV infection is preventable. Knowledge about HIV is an important aspect of prevention. Parents should educate their children and also work closely with schools, churches, youth organizations, and health care professionals to ensure that children and teens receive sex education and preventive drug abuse courses which include material on HIV.


The HIV virus dies quickly when it is outside the human body. It cannot be transmitted by day-to-day or even close social contacts not mentioned above. Family members of an individual infected with HIV will not catch the virus if they share drinking glasses with the person. There is no known instance in which a child infected with HIV has passed the virus to another child in the course of school activities.


HIV infection occurs in all age groups. Twenty-five percent of the babies born to untreated mothers infected with HIV develop HIV infection themselves. Many of these children die within one or two years, but some live for years, although their development is slowed and they can get many infections. Mothers-to-be with HIV must get special treatment to try to prevent transmission of the virus to their fetuses. New treatments for pregnant women may reduce the transmission of the virus to fewer than one in ten babies of HIV-positive mothers


Drug and/or alcohol abuse, premature and/or promiscuous sexual activity are serious risk behaviors. Evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist can be an important first step in helping a family respond effectively to high risk behaviors in their children and adolescents.


45,736,287 number of people men/women and children living with aids today


AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) results from infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV infects and destroys lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell involved in the body\'s immune (infection-fighting) response to invading germs.


The virus attacks specific lymphocytes called T helper cells (CD4 cells, also known as T-cells), taking over the machinery of these cells to make more copies of itself. This process begins to destroy the CD4 cells. Over time, the total number of CD4 cells in the body drops off, lowering the body\'s resistance to invading germs and disease.


When the population of CD4 cells falls to a very low level, people with HIV get infections (known as opportunistic infections) and/or certain types of cancer that a healthy immune system would otherwise successfully fight off. This weakened immunity (or immune deficiency) is known as AIDS and can