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What is AIDS?
AIDS stand s for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. It is caused by H.I.V virus stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV is transmitted when body fluids between two people when they come into contact theses body fluids include, blood, semen vaginal fluids breast milk and other body fluids handled by healthcare professionals. This contact may be by means e.g. sexual intercourse between an infected person and a health person. It can also be transmitted through methods such as blood transfusion or sharing infected syringes. Infected mothers can also transmit HIV to their babies during birth and through breastfeeding. In the early days, people thought that HIV was transmitted through saliva by sharing cups or drinking together, hugging, being sneezed to. Research has however proven that that these claims are untrue but people still get HIV through oral sex and in some cases in deep kissing when one has sores in your oral cavity. People who have HIV in their system are normally termed as ‘HIV positive’. We can only be certain that one has HIV virus through blood test.
Though AIDS has no cure it should be noted that someone can have HIV and not necessarily have AIDS. When the HIV virus has extensively damaged the immune system, opportunistic diseases set in as the body’s defense mechanism has been rendered low. Here, small viruses, fungi and any disease causing parasites can seriously make someone ill because of the weak defense mechanism of the body. Until this stage is reached HIV positive people can still live health normal lives.
By the end of 2007, 33 million people were living with AIDS according to WHO/UNAIDS with 50% of these being women. according to WHO/UNAIDS half of the new infections are people under the age of 25 years The centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) put the number of people living with AIDS at the end of 2003 at 1,039,000 in the United States of America.
Origin of AIDS
The exact origin of aids has not been so far been identified. So many theories have been formulated to try and explain this mystery. Among the very earliest reported cases of AIDS was in a gay male population in the 1980s living in
Over the years AIDS has had different names e.g.’ Gay cancer’, ‘gay related immune deficiency’ (GRID) greatly used in 1982.other names were related to the symptoms seen in the patient.
Later it was discovered that the disease also affected heterosexuals and also women. With this discovery, such names as GRID as used before did not adequately represent the diseases, therefore the centre for disease control and prevention (CDC) named it as AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) acquired because people don’t inherit it and it had many varied symptoms. It was also discovered that the disease also existed in other places beside
In all the earliest reported cases of AIDS, HIV virus was in one way related to its cause. Therefore the history of aids can only be fathomed when the cause of HIV virus is known
The earliest possible theory used to explain the origin of HIV was that it was passed from monkeys to man. Researchers claimed that there is a relationship between the HIV virus and Simian Immunodeficiency Virus found in monkeys. Theories have been put forward to explain the way this virus passed from monkeys to humans. Among these theories is the ‘hunter theory’ which proposes that HIV 1 which causes AIDS resulted when the blood of monkey entered to the body of a human through cuts or wounds in the body of a hunter. It also has an extension, ‘the contaminated needle theory’ which suggests that healthcare practitioners in Africa must have used contaminated needles containing blood from the ‘hunter’ for injections thus passing the virus to many people. Among the gay African Americans there is a believed that AIDS was synthetically manufactured and administered as a strategy to eliminate gays and drug users. They believe that this was done through special cancer virus program and Hepatitis B injections
AIDS and the African American society
African Americans make up 13% of the total population in
With the prevalence of AIDS and AIDS related deaths among the men in African American society being high, children are raised by single parents. African American women are also at high risk of being infected with AIDS compared to other races. With the high rate of proliferation of AIDS in the African Americans society, chances of employment and accessing mortgage and even enjoying recreational facilities have been reduced.
A section of African Americans believe that aids was created and spread by CIA as a means of eliminating blacks in America. They believe that there is cure for AIDS but it is not available to the poor. It also believes that AIDS is not spread through sexual intercourse. Such beliefs greatly hinder efforts of combating the spread of HIV.
Some faith based organizations; individual and non profit organizations have volunteered to avail information to sensitize the masses about the nature of HIV and AIDS. Some have also provided Medicare to those already living with the virus but don’t qualify for health insurance.