Aids Essay, Research Paper
We know that AIDS is caused by the HIV virus. It can be diagnosed through a simpleblood test. Frequently a person with HIV, the initial stage of AIDS, has no symptomsand might not even think to get tested before engaging in dangerous behavior whichcould spread the disease. AIDS is the final and almost always fatal stage of HIV disease.It is a complicated illness involving several phases. The virus attacks the immune systemand leaves the body vulnerable to many life-threatening diseases caused by commonbacteria, yeast and viruses which don t usually cause disease. There have been manytheories as to how the disease evolved. Most people speculate that there was a possible animal to human viral link, likelyoriginating in Africa many decades ago. The virus was isolated by the Pasteur Institute inFrance in 1983. At first clusters of homosexual men were found to have the disease. Then people with hemophilia, transfusion recipients, female and male partners of peoplewith the disease and infants born to infected mothers were also its victims. AIDS is not
just a gay disease. It is critical that everyone be educated as to how this disease is spread. AIDS istransmitted by direct contamination of the bloodstream with body fluids that contain theAIDS virus. Usually this means from contact with blood or semen from an HIV infectedperson. The virus is usually transmitted through various forms of sexual intercourse, atainted blood transfusion, or the sharing of contaminated needles. This virus CANNOT penetrate intact bodily surfaces, such as uncut skin. It is notspread by casual physical contact or by sneezing. The virus has been found in tears andsaliva, but in such low amounts that transmission from these body fluids is extremelyrare. It does exist in cervical mucus. There are no known cases of transmission frommosquitoes. It is believed that a mother can pass AIDS to her child usually close to orduring delivery. The virus does not pass through the placenta. But it can be passedthrough breast milk.