Aids Essay, Research Paper
8 October 2000
The Worse Epidemic Ever To Hit America: AIDS
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, the number one killer among Sexually Transmitted Diseases in North America, all because of the lack of intelligence about the disease. There are a lot of ways to contract the virus HIV, homosexuality is not the only way, but, I?m sure that?s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions A.I.D.S.
The reason people are so unaware of the virus or just don?t care about it is because people have the thought well I can?t catch the disease. But, I?m sure everyone has done something out of the ordinary that could have caused that person to become Human Immunodefiency Virus positive. Homosexuality, by two men having oral sex and one of the two men ejaculates in the other guy, allowing semen in do whatever it wants. Sharing of Needles, people who tend to share needles while doing Heroin, Crystal Meth or any other controlled substance. Blood Transfusions, people who go in to have an operation or any sort of care involving needles could be wrongfully injected with someone else?s blood. Heterosexual intercourse without using a condom.
There are a lot of ways that A.I.D.S. affects the body. The immune
system is the part of the body that fights disease. In order to understand how A.I.D.S. affects the body, it is necessary to understand the function of a group of
white blood cells called lymphocytes. The B Lymphocytes are produced by the bone marrow, and the T Lymphocytes are associated with the thymus gland (Reed 3). They are commonly referred to as B cells and T cells.
There are two types of T cells, helper cells that stimulate the B cells to produce antibodies to fight invading organisms, like bacteria and viruses, and suppressor cells that reduce the production of antibodies once the infection has been overcome (Reed 3).
In a healthy body, the difference of helper cells to suppressor cells are about two to one. But, in people who have the virus the difference is reversed forever.
Some of the symptoms of A.I.D.S are the same as a cold. It?s not guaranteed that someone will have the symptom of A.I.D.S considering how long it can be before you realize you have A.I.D.S. Some of the symptoms are the same as a common cold. Fever or sweating at night, chills, coughing for long periods of time, rapid weith loss for no apparent reason, chronic fatigue, diarrhea, or swollen lymph nodes (Reed 5).
One of the worse things that I ever heard was when one of my peers told me he had A.I.D.S and as society predicts, I instantly thought that he must be gay. This kid was the perfect role model, he made good grades, was popular and his parents had a little money, so everyone figures he has the life everyone
wants. But, in actuality Jake was covering up. When Jake began to tell me that he contracted the disease when he was three through some blood transfusion work I began to cry because it was the saddest thing I had ever heard. The doctor?s told Jake last October that he had six months to live. It seemed like after that the symptoms really began to show, I noticed that his neck was a little swollen and constantly Jake was shivering while we ate lunch. Well, it?s a year later and Jake is still working hard to try and fight the disease and not let it get the best of him.
The most powerful newspaper article I ever read, was in May of 2000. The local paper where I?m from had conducted a survey with all the area high schools about sex. The statistics were unbelieving and to this day I wonder if they were accurate. The article stated that out of the five high schools that participated in the survey my school had the most STD rate. The article said that 1/2 of the freshman class had, had some sexual intercourse and 1/3 of the senior class had encountered some form of an STD (Hubert, B2).
A lot of people have watched an episode of the Real World on MTV. When this show first aired in 1995 it was a very popular show among teens and older adults because it really showed how it was in the real world. Well, the show consisted of seven members, one which was gay. Pedro Zamora, was gay and he during the airing of the show contracted A.I.D.S. Of course, no one really wanted to have anything to do with him but all the members were mature and treated him the same as they treated each other. Six months after that
particularly series went off the air Pedro died from A.I.D.S. After this show aired on television people began to open up and not be so secretive about their sex lives. I?m sure some saw it as, if, ?you can be on television and be gay than why can?t I be gay in my own home.?
This may be just a little bit shocking but the majority of women who have A.I.D.S contracted it from heterosexual men or the sharing of needles. The leading factor in women having HIV is the idea of being raped or molested at an earlier age. There are even more symptoms for women who are infected by the virus. Some of the different symptoms are vaginal yeast infection, severe herpes simplex virus ulcerations, idiopathic genital ulcers, pelvic inflammatory disease and menstrual irregularities (Watsein and Laurich 81).
Their are a lot of different ways people view A.I.D.S. Gender, Age, and Ethnicity. Of course, men outweigh the women when it comes down to who most likely will contract the virus. The most unexpected thing that I learned from this reading was the group most associated with A.I.D.S were people in their late 30?s through the early 40?s.
By November of 1985, 282 cases of A.I.D.S were reported in students up to the age of 19 years old. Of that number, 210 cases were reported in children under the age of 13, half of whom have already died. The Centers for Disease Control expects the number of A.I.D.S. cases in children to double by the end of the year (Reed, 6).
The belief that A.I.D.S originated in central Africa is well-known. A.I.D.S was endemic to remote African villages long before it was known or named by Western science (Walker, 50). The disease was so widespread, because in Africa people really didn?t have any education to know to use protection when having sex. When it first originated it was because one man came to North America, and he and a friend decided to perform oral sex on each other and that?s where the virus started (Walker, 49).
I believe the best influential of all my research was the movie Philadelphia. This movie completely contradicts what all of society thought. Most people have the idea only poor, uneducated people have A.I.D.S. but, because the lawyer portrayed himself to be gay, that proves that it doesn?t matter about your occupational or social status, it?s your preference. I believe the more wealthy are just more embarrassed to admit their homosexuality because they fear that they will not make it in society if people find out that they?re gay.
I really learned a lot about A.I.D.S and hopefully more people will develop the same idea about A.I.D.S and become more aware of the virus. People are so prejudice to homosexuals because of their sexual preference, and because they have A.I.D.S The people where I?m from are so open-minded and anything goes but I?ve learned as I grew older and the more work I?ve done on this paper how gay men are called queers, fags, fudge packers and people are famous for making remarks such as ?We should round up all the f*cking queers and take them somewhere and kill them together and then we will not have to worry about
A.I.D.S?. It?s people?s ignorance that cause other people to go and commit suicide because they think there gay they will not succeed and they have nothing to live for, and that isn?t true.