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Aids Essay Research Paper AIDS and HIV

Aids Essay, Research Paper AIDS and HIV are becoming more and more of a problem in the world. In Canada there have been “14,500 AIDS cases reported and “50,000 Canadians”

Aids Essay, Research Paper

AIDS and HIV are becoming more and more of a problem in the world. In

Canada there have been “14,500 AIDS cases reported and “50,000 Canadians”

have come in contact with the virus. “5000″ people become infected each

year.(The Canadian AIDS Society 1997 [poster]) AIDS and HIV can affect

people of all ages, whether they are “old, young, male, or female” (Basic facts

about AIDS/HIV). People of all ages should have a general knowledge of AIDS

and HIV. They should be fully aware of how to protect themselves of this disease,

what the disease can do to their bodies, and how to go about testing for the HIV

virus.

AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrom, is the most

developed stage of HIV (Griege 1987, p.22). HIV cannot cause harm unless it

enters the bloodstream. If the HIV virus was to enter the body’s bloodstream, it

would destroy the white blood cells called “helper-T cells”. This would affect the

body’s “immune system” because the role of the white blood cells is to protect the

body from diseases. The immune system would not be able to perform without the

white blood cells (Griege 1987, p. 22). AIDS causes infections to occur that is not

normally seen in “normal individuals”. This is true because the immune system is

so weak that it can not prevent these infections (Collier’s Encyclopedia 1984,

p.241).

AIDS is not the disease that is being transmitted from person to person, it is

HIV. HIV can be transmitted in a few different ways. One way that it can be

transmitted is through “sexual intercourse” without the use of a condom. It can be

transmitted through the “vagina or the anus” if the penis was to enter either one.

The disease is transmitted easier through “anal intercourse” than through vaginal

intercourse because “of the thin lining of the rectum”. The sharing of sex toys is

also another way of catching HIV virus. The virus can be also transmitted through

the sharing of needles, with an infected person, for drug use (Canadian AIDS

Society 1997, p.1-26). If someone catches HIV through injecting drugs,

themselves and their sexual partners have a higher risk of developing AIDS.

These people hold the highest percentage of AIDS (Levy 1998, p.776). Tattooing

and skin piercing with dirty needles is also a risk of catching HIV. This happens

because HIV is transmitted through blood. There is a possibility the HIV can

passed from mother to fetus or if the mother was to become infected after the baby

was born, it could be past through breast feeding the baby (Canadian AIDS

Society1997, p.1-26).

Traces of HIV have been found in saliva; However, HIV cannot be

transmitted through kissing but heavy kissing should not to be practiced. It has

been said that there is a slight possibility that HIV could be passed from a bite

from one human to another. These two statements are still being discussed

between the experts (Landau-Staton and Clements 1993, p. 174-175). Blood

transfusions were once a risk of getting HIV but is not anymore because HIV test

are done on all blood that is donated. HIV cannot be transmitted through the air or

by touching an infected person. Also insects, such as mosquitoes, cannot infect a

person with HIV. When the HIV virus is outside the body it is very weak and

cannot be transmitted through the water. Drinking or eating from an infected

person is not a way that HIV can be transmitted, neither is using the same

washroom (Canadian AIDS Society 1997 p.1-26 ).

There are ways in which a person can protect him or herself from catching

of transmitting HIV. One way is, not to have sex at all. This is the only hundred

percent way of not catching the HIV virus. Another way is to have sex with only

one partner that is very faithful. Using a latex condom during sexual intercourse is

one way to reduce the risk of catching or transmitting the virus, but it is not a

hundred percent safe. Condoms have to used right in order to provide protection.

The use of lubrication with a condom, helps prevent the condom from tearing and

therefore provides more protection. Also, for oral sex practiced on a man, use a

latex condom over the penis, and for a woman cut a condom open and place it over

the vagina. Practicing safe sex reduces the risk of HIV in a society. Using clean

needles and not sharing them with someone else, while injecting drugs, provides

protection from coming in contact with HIV (Canadian AIDS Society, 1997 p.2-

4).

If HIV was present in the body, the body would then produce “antibodies”

to try and delete the virus. These antibodies however, is not able to get rid of the

virus. There is a test that can be done to see if there are HIV antibodies present in

the blood. This test is called the “Elisa test”. In order for the “Elisa test” to detect

the HIV antibodies in the blood, there has to be enough antibodies available.

There is a waiting period of about fourteen weeks, from the time of contact with

the virus, for the body to produce enough antibodies for the test to detect. Any

doctor can do this test. The test results could be negative or positive. If the test

turns out to be negative, it means that there are no HIV antibodies present in the

body. If the test turns out to be positive, it means that HIV antibodies have been

detected in the body (AIDS PEI, pamphlet).

It is still questionable about where the HIV virus has come from. Some

experts have ideas about where the virus came from, but they do not know for

certain. Some scientists think that the virus has been around for a while, but has

just recently, become more serious and destructive. It is also believed by some,

that there is a possibility that the virus came from monkeys transmitting it to men

in Africa. Some tests were done on the monkeys and it showed some similarities

to HIV but was different in the cause of AIDS (Greig 1992, p.23-24).

Right now, the highest group of people that has HIV/AIDS is homosexual.

However, the population of homosexuals that has AIDS and HIV, is slowly

declining, and drugs users and heterosexuals is increasing. This means that HIV

transmission has become greater with the heterosexuals (Kelly 1995 p.7).

AIDS and HIV have become a very big concern in the world. In

order to keep AIDS and HIV from infecting more people than it already has, is to

provide plenty of information of how to protect themselves from this deadly

disease. There should be television ads about AIDS and HIV on every channel.

Everyone should have the opportunity to know all the general facts about this

disease.

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