Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 10th gradeA+, December 1996

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Aids. One of the world's largest killers and yet we know so little about it. It kills so many people each year, both men and woman. It's sad that we can't stop it.

Aids starts with the HIV virus. This virus can be transmitted through 3 basic ways. Sexual intercourse, blood transfusions, and intravenous drugs. Most people think that they cannot get the virus, even though they have done one or more of the above. In fact, 61% of kids 14-21 have engaged in sexual intercourse. That's over half! Also, a very small percentage of these kids use condoms regularly. And even if the kids DO use condoms, there is still a chance of the HIV virus getting through. It could do this because of misuse of the condom, use of alcohol or drugs which could impair judgment on its use, or the condom itself could be defective.

The transmission of aids can be made in many different ways. The most common way is direct contact of bodily fluids from either a male or a female. This contact contaminates blood that was previously healthy. This virus cannot be contracted through tears and saliva, even though some people think it can. Also, mosquitoes and other insects cannot carry the virus. The other most common way of transmitting aids is through mother to child transfusion. The virus can be transmitted during birth or during breast feeding.

The symptoms are so simple that they're complex. In stage one, which is when your infected, nothing shows up. It is possible that you could be living for years with HIV and not even know it. Blood tests even do not show the virus all the time. It takes at least 3 months to tell. In stage 2, the mild illness stage,