AIDS Essay Research Paper recognized disease entity

AIDS Essay, Research Paper recognized disease entity. Aids is on the minds of many people all around the world. There are many myths about how one can contract or come in contact with this deadly

AIDS Essay, Research Paper

recognized disease entity. Aids is on the minds of many people all around the world.

There are many myths about how one can contract or come in contact with this deadly

disease. Many people are afraid to give blood, go to the doctor, or even drink from a

public water fountain because of these myths. After one is finished reading about what

Aids actually is, how one can prevent it, how one can contract it, some of the symptoms,

and also some of the treatments for this deadly disease he or she will understand this

disease much better.

Most people don’t understand the definition of Aids. The U.S. Center For Disease

Control has established criteria for defining cases of Aids that are based on diseases, and a

range of other conditions. “The opportunistic diseases are generally the most prominent

and life threaten clinical manifestation of Aids.” It is now recognized, however, that

neuropsychiatric manifestations of HIV infection of the brain are also common. “Other

complications of HIV infection include fever, diarrhea, severe weight loss, and swollen

lymph nodes.” When HIV-infected persons experience some of the above symptoms but

do not meet full criteria for Aids, they are given the diagnosis of Aids-related complex, or

ARC(Fettner17-19). The growing felling is that a symptomatic HIV infection and ARC

should not be viewed as distinct entities but, rather as stages of an irreversible progression

towards Aids(Davis12).

There are many different ways a person can prevent the contraction of Aids, from

abstinence, contraceptives, and even clean needles. Most people ignore these items and

end up getting Aids. Less encouraging signs are that sexually active teens do not use

condoms, even in San Francisco, a high risk area. Researchers at The University of

California who surveyed two hundred and four sexually active adolescents found that only

about eight percent of the boys and two percent of the girls used condoms during every

act of intercourse(Davis12). “If you’re not sure about your health status or your partner’s,

use latex condoms diligently.” If you want to go the extra step, choose condoms with a

lubricant containing nonoxynol-9, which provides a chemical barrier against sexually

transmitted diseases. If you practice oral sex, use a condom on a man or a latex shield on

a woman. Psychologist Susan Kageles says, “Interviews with one thousand eight hundred

people found that condom use was considered immoral by forty percent of Hispanic men,

thirty percent of Hispanic women, thirty-four percent of black men, twenty-eight percent

of black women, eight percent of white men, and three percent of white women”(SF

Examiner A1+).

Researchers have isolated HIV from a number of body fluids including, blood,

semen, saliva, tears, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, breast milk, and certain cervical and

vaginal secretions. Strong evidence indicates, however, that HIV is transmitted only

through three primary routes: sexual intercourse, whether vaginal or anal, with an infected

individual: nondigestive exposure to infected blood or blood products, and from an

infected mother to her child before or during birth. “At least ninety seven percent of U. S.

Aids cases have been transmitted through one of these routes with transmission between

homosexual men accounting for about sixty percent of the cases. Heterosexual

transmissions in the United States accounting for only about five percent of cases but is a

significant mode of transmission in Africa and Asia.” About twenty-one percent of Aids

cases occur in intravenous drug abusers exposed to HIV- infected blood through shared

needles. Current practices of screening blood donors testing all donated blood and plasma

for HIV antibodies have reduced the number of cumulative cases due to transfusion to

about one percent. The number of new cases of Aids in women of reproductive age is

increasing at an alarming rate. “Aids has become the leading cause of death for women

between the ages of twenty and forty in the major cities of North and South America,

Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa.” In the United States, Aids has hit the hardest

among black and Hispanic women. These women represent seventeen percent of the

female population but make up seventy-three percent of women with Aids. Aids is also

having a devastating impact on infant mortality, since over eighty percent of the HIV-

infected children under the age of thirteen acquired HIV from their infected mothers.

Between twenty-four and thirty-three percent of children born to infected mothers will

develop the disease. No scientific evidence supports transmission of Aids through

ordinary nonsexual conduct. Careful studies demonstrate that despite prolonged

household contact with individuals, family members have not become infected-except

through the routes described above. Health care workers have been infected with HIV

from exposure to contaminated blood or by accidentally sticking themselves with

contaminated needles(SF Examiner A1+).

Following infection with HIV, an individual may show no symptoms at all, or may

develop an acute but transient mononucleus-like illness. The period between initial

infection and the development of Aids can very greatly, apparently from about six months

to eleven years. Various estimates indicate that somewhere between twenty-six to forty-

six percent of infected individuals will go on to develop full-blown Aids within a little

more than seven years following infection. Once Aids sets in, the clinic course follows a

rapid decline; and most people with Aids die within three years(SF ExaminerA1+).

Two major avenues are being pursued by biomedical scientists the fight against

HIV infection and Aids. One strategy is to develop a vaccine that can induce neutralizing

antibodies against HIV and protect uninfected individuals if exposed to the virus itself.

The second approach involves the discovery and development of therapeutic agents

against HIV infection and Aids. At present no vaccine exists to protect against infection,

although recent advances have led some experts to predict that a vaccine should be

available within the next ten years. Obstacles still remain, however, primarily due to the

variability of the virus itself. Many different strains of HIV exist, and even within a given

individuals body the virus can undergo mutations rapidly and easily. A number of

candidate vaccines were in the early phases of testing in human volunteers by the early

1990s around the world(Fettner180).

The effects of the epidemic on society at large are increasingly evident. Aids tests

are now required in the military services. Various proposals have been made for

mandatory screening of other groups such as health-care workers, especially since a

Florida dentist who died of Aids in 1990 is believed to have infected five patients. A

number of nations, including the United States, have instituted stringent rules for testing

long-term foreign visitors or potential immigrants for Aids, as well as testing returning

foreign nationals. In the United States one frequent phenomenon is the effort to keep

school-age children with Aids isolated from their classmates, if not out of school

altogether. Governmental and civil rights organizations have countered restrictive moves

with a great deal of success. There is little doubt that the ultimate physical toll of the Aids

epidemic will be high, as will be its economic costs, however the social issues are resolved.

Concerted efforts are under way to address the problem at many levels, and they offer

hope for successful strategies to combat HIV-induced disease.