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.