Thursday, February 22, 2018

HIV / AIDS Overview

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Category: STDs

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was discovered in 1981 and has since become a major worldwide pandemic. AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which destroys the immune system, and causes the body to lose its ability to fight infections and certain cancers. An HIV-infected person is diagnosed with AIDS when the symptoms of their HIV infection become severe.

In just over twenty years, AIDS has killed more than 22 million people and orphaned over 13 million children. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 40 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV; which is double the number in 1995. The availability of medicines and successful health programs is slowing the spread of the disease and allowing sufferers to live longer, but nevertheless, each year around 3 million people are dying from illnesses associated with AIDS.

Nearly all the world’s HIV infected people live in the poorer developing nations and nearly half of all sufferers are women. In richer countries, increasing numbers of heterosexual men and women are becoming infected, with homosexual transmission accounting for less than half of all new infections in the United States each year.

The HIV virus is passed on primarily through sexual contact. It is found in blood, seminal fluid, pre-ejaculate, vaginal secretions, cerebrospinal fluid, saliva, tears, and breast milk, but it is most usually transferred in semen during penile-anal and penile-vaginal intercourse.

Nonsexual HIV transmission can occur through transfusion with contaminated blood products during intravenous drug use, accidents, or operations. Without preventative medicine, mother-to-child transmission occurs in around a 25 percent of live births to HIV-infected mothers.

You can reduce your chances of contracting HIV by practicing safe sex using a latex or polyurethane condom; reducing your number of sexual partners; and never sharing needles used for injections.

If you think you may have engaged in sexual contact with an HIV-infected person, you should see your doctor for a blood test immediately. You may have to wait a week or more for the results, but finding out for sure that you are not carrying the virus will put your mind at ease. If you receive a positive diagnosis, it may help to prevent you unwittingly spreading the infection to others. You would also be able to start treatment with drugs early, which is likely to increase your chances of living a long and active life.


4 Responses to “HIV / AIDS Overview”
  1. What are some physical signs of hiv to look for if noticeable? says:

    Waht are some physical signs of hiv if any?

  2. jessie says:

    i was on an internship and i meet a person with HIV’s i was so scared i didnt want to treat her any different but it was very scary and come to find out she was very sweet and i love spending my time with her.

  3. alex says:

    what causes aids

  4. alex says:

    what organism if effected during aids