HIV and AIDS
Hiv is defined as Human Immunodeficiency virus and is transmitted through blood transfusions and intimate contact. It is not to be confused with full-blown aids or acquired immune deficiency syndrome, although hiv and aids are often closely associated, since hiv is the virus that causes aids. There are many things that can be done to prevent hiv and aids which is becoming one of the world’s leading killers, and 25 million people have died from the illness which was first discovered in 1981. Although aids claims many lives, many people live with hiv for many years, and can educate others about the dangers of hiv and aids and how to prevent infection.
Hiv is a virus that attacks the immune system, and latches on to protector T cells which fight infection. Once these T cells are attacked, it is difficult to fight off infections that most people would be able to recover from. Therefore, what ordinarily would be a minor infection becomes a serious ailment. Those with hiv and aids have impaired immune systems, although those with only hiv that has not yet developed into aids have less dramatic reactions to microbes. While many patients with hiv can live for many years, those with hiv and aids are more impaired. Basically, if a person is hiv infected, he or she can live aids free for a relatively long amount of time, but once aids has developed, the situation is serious.
Hiv and aids was discovered in 1981 when 5 gay men in California seemed to have flu-like symptoms. It iwas discovered that they had hiv an aids which was an undiscovered disease at that time. Once hiv and aids came on the scene, there was widespread prejudice and misconception concerning the illness. For instance, in Indiana, a child name Ryan White who had caught hiv and aid through a blood transfusion was treated as a pariah by those around him who did not understand the causes of the disease. They thought that if they came in contact with a drop of his saliva or touched him that they would contract hiv and aids. It was a few years before many of these myths and superstitions were put aside, but it required many hiv and aids awareness campaigns before the public finally were educated concerning hiv and aids.
Hiv an aids can be caught through semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk and blood. While there is a small quantity in tears, sweat and saliva, there is not a significant enough portion to pose a threat. The most common ways of catching hiv and aids is through sexual contact, blood transfusions and sharing needles. Increased awareness of the disease has decreased the likelihood that hiv and aids can be contracted through a blood transfusion, since all blood donations nowadays are carefully screened before they are stored. The number of aids deaths is quickly growing worldwide, particularly in Africa, and the best way to prevent hiv and aids deaths is through education and prevention. Once more people are aware of how to prevent hiv and aids, there will be fewer deaths from the dreaded disease worldwide.
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