, Research Paper
The Topic of my report is The Causes and Treatments of Aids. First the:
Scientists suspect that at least two viruses cause AIDs: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Worldwide, the viruses infect equal numbers of people, but HIV-1 is much more known in North America. HIV-2 is extremely rare outside of Africa.
The virus enters the body through small abrasions or cuts in mucous membranes in the mouth, vagina or rectum and destroys T cells, so the immune system fails. Patients then develop infections that eventually kill them.
From what to popular belief, AIDS is not a highly contagious disease. The only way you can get it is to have unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex with an infected partner or to share tainted blood through IV-drug use or transfusions.
You can’t get AIDS from kissing. The protein in saliva keeps the AIDS virus from infecting the white blood cells. The protein attaches itself to white blood cells and protects them from infection.The discovery may lead to new strategies for developing AIDS medicines, such as injecting this protein directly into the bloodstream to keep the virus from attacking blood cells.
You also dont need to worry about catching AIDS if you live with someone who has it. HIV cannot be transmitted by toilet seats or objects handled by people who have AIDS. Also you won’t get the disease if you share food with someone who is infected, because HIV dies very quickly once it is outside the body.
Diagnostic and Test Procedures
Within a few weeks of infection , the body should be producing anti bodies to the virus, which doctors can detect in blood tests. But, your body may take as long as 35 months to produce a detectable level of anti bodies, so if you think you’ve been infected, particularly if you’re in a high-risk group, you should be tested for the disease every six months.
The first test you’ll be given is the ELISA, The enzyme-linked immunsorbent assay. The test is generally reliable, but a positive result should always be checked or confirmed; the doctor may follow up with the Western blot, a blood test that almost never gives a false-positive reading.
Before deciding to have take an AIDS test, make sure you get advice from a counselor. A positive test result for AIDS may cause people pschological distress. The counselor can help you deal with the anxiety, grief , and fear that people probably experience at first.
If the test positive, make sure the doctor gives you a complete workup to detect other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonrrhea, genital herpes or syphilis .
It is extremely important that you notify your sexual partners of your diagnosis. They too must be tested and treated.
Dramatic improvements have occurred in the treatment of HIV disease in the last three years. A 50 percent drop in AIDS deaths has happened nationwide with the use of potent anti viral drug therapy, also called highly active anti retroviral therapy or HAART.
Right now there are several hundred studies that test drugs for the treatment of AIDS and related conditions. These include anti viral drugs, drugs that modify the immune system, anti-infective drugs and anticancer drugs.
Another experimental treatment, now used in France, is passive immuneotherapy. The therapy does not increase the life span of AIDS sufferers, but it may keep them from getting as sick as they might. Patients with advanced AIDS are injected with plasma from healthier HIV infected donors. Researchers hope the injections will help the advanced patients immune systems and help them fight off diseases related with AIDS. Initial results have been promising.
Although a number of vaccines to prevent AIDS are under investigation, scientists have had difficulty finding one that works. The theory is that injecting someone with a weakened form of the virus would spur that person’s immune system to mount a huge attack against HIV and build up a resistance. Doctors are understandably reluctant to inject anyone with HIV, however, fearing that even a weakened virus might cause AIDS.
In related work, a team of researchers from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectiou Diseases has developed a vaccine with a “suicide gene” that makes itself be killed off once its job is done. The weakened HIV carries an extra gene taken from the herpes virus. Cells that become infected with HIV then can be selectively destroyed with ganciclovir, a herpes medicine. So far the vaccine has been examined only in the test tube. Animal and human trials are being planned.
The current treatment of choice for AIDS patients is the use of powerful antiviral drugs. These include zidovudine, didanosine , dideoxycytidine , lamivudine , stuvadine , nevirapine, and a group of drugs called protease inhibitors, which incllude nelfinavir, ritonavir, indinavir and saquinavir. These drugs are used in combination – usually a protease inhibitor plus two other drugs. None of these cures AIDS, but they clearly have a major effect on the disease.
Zidovudine was the first HIV antiviral drug developed. AZT is often used with lamivudine and actually comes in a pill combined with lamivudine for simplicity. Zidovudine’s side effects include nausea, headaches, muscle aches and weakness. It can also cause a low blood count (anemia). Didanosine, dideoxycytidine and stuvadine all can cause a burning pain in the legs (neuropathy) or an inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis, see Pancreatic Problems). Protease inhibitors include nelfinavir, ritonavir, indinavir and saquinavir. All these drugs are very active and effective. They all can raise cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as occasionally raise blood sugar levels. Indinavir can cause kidney stones. All these medications can cause diarrhea, but it is most severe when taking nelfinavir.
Use a condom for all kinds of sex, including oral, anal and vaginal.
Don’t use oil-based lubricants, which can eat through condoms.
Learn you partners past sexual activities and ask about HIV test results.
Don’t have sex with hookers or prostitutes.
Don’t share a needle if you use drugs; you should bleach needles to clean them.
Get tested every six months if you’re in a high-risk group; your partner should be tested as well.
In Conclusion, the best way to protect yourself from AIDs or any type STD’s in general is to have abstinence. If that is not preferred you should always have safe sex and to always use condoms, that is not 100% protection but that reduces your chances of getting AIDS. The common symptoms of AIDs are long term fatigueness, swollen lymph nodes, a fever that lasts longer than 10 days. night sweats, unexplained weight loss, shortness of breath, persistent severe diarrhea, or yeast infections, and more. If you think you have AIDS, seek help immediatley and dont fail to notify your partners if you test positive for HIV. They too will require testing and possibly treatment. In some states the health department will require that sexual partners be notified. Ask your doctor for advice.