AIDS/HIV


Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, better known as AIDS, is caused by
the incurable HIV virus. AIDS is a deadly disease that deteriorates the immune
system. There are two groups of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), HIV-1 that
occurs throughout the world and HIV-2 that mainly occurs in Africa. The HIV
virus enters the white blood cells and takes over the reproductive system of
that cell and uses the system to reproduce itself. The white blood cell dies
and the new HIV cells infect other white blood cells and repeat the process.
The Person with the disease will eventually die because the white blood cell
dies off tottally.
If you have become infected with the AIDS disease you may not have any
symptoms of the disease for the next ten years. People with the HIV virus
usually look and feel healthy and may not even know that they are infected.
Even though they don\'t look or feel sick, they can still infect others.
When the symptoms do start to happen they can be like the ones of many
common sicknesses such as swollen glands, coughing, fever, and diarrhea. It is
usually characterized by severe weight loss and fatigue. The AIDS disease
makes the less serious conditions harder for your body to control or get rid of
because of the loss of many of the white blood cells in your body. The most
common causes of death for the people with AIDS are pneumonia and Kaposi\'s
sarcoma. Kaposi\'s sarcoma which shows up as purple lesions on the skin and
tumors known as B-cell lymphomas have affected 70% of the infected people.
AIDS is transmitted in three main ways. Intimate sexual contact such as
having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who is infected with HIV is the
most common. While direct contact with infected blood, like sharing needles for
injecting drugs, HIV also can be passed from an infected mother to her baby
during pregancy or childbirth. Although some people speculate, you cannot
receive the disease from kissing on the cheek and it is very unlikely that you
could get HIV even from open mouth kissing, you also cannot get the
disease/virus from close hugging, touching, cuddling, and massages as long as
there isn\'t any open cuts or abrassions. HIV also cannot be contracted from
using toilet seats,telephones, drinking fountains, straws, spoons, or cups or
mosquitoes, air, food, water, coughs/sneezes, sweat or tears.
AIDS is a life and death issue. To have the AIDS disease is a sentence
of slow but defininate death. There currently is no cure or vaccine for this
disease but there are drugs that have been proven effective in slowing the
spread of this deadly disease like AZT the first chemical shown to be partially
effective in reducing clinical symptoms and controlling viral replication was
developed in 1986-87. Scientists say that a safe, effective vaccine against HIV
may be at least a decade or more away, mainly because HIV changes structure
quickly, producing different types. A lot of types of the AIDS virus have been
isolated, and it looks like the disease is contunually changing in its genetic
looks and so, its closes up against what a person\'s immune system can make
antibodies. We know enough about how the infection is transmitted to protect
ourselves from it. But too few people are hearing the AIDS message. Maybe many
just don\'t like or want to believe what they hear, preferring to think that AIDS
"can\'t happen to them." Like other communicable diseases, AIDS can strike
anyone. AIDS doesn\'t just occur in certain social groups of people. We all
have to protect ourselves from this infection and learn about it in time to take
good enough precautions. Taking the right actions, no one needs to get AIDS.
Now is the time to take charge against the AIDS disease by using good
precautions such as using condoms made of latex rubber. People have to remember,
that the most reliable person in charge of preventing you from getting AIDS, is
yourself!
In 1990, the World Health Organization brought to attention that 203,599
cases of AIDS were reported worldwide by the end of 1989, and estimated the
actual number of cases to have been 600,000.

Category: History