The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is among the diseases in this world that has yet to produce a cure. What causes AIDS? You can attribute that to the dreaded Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It affects the human body’s immune systems and can directly expose anyone to various infections and tumors.
The figures are getting worse every year. An estimated 33.3 million people a year from all over the world are already living with the disease, while about 2.6 million people are being introduced to it every year. The deaths due to the disease record at 1.8 million a year. Talk about a real killer.
HIV spreads throughout the body via direct contact of contaminated bodily fluids with the bloodstream or mucous membrane. These contaminated bodily fluids can be the blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and even breast milk. It is transmitted whenever people engage in vaginal, oral or anal sex, or when blood transfusion takes place using unclean needles already infected with HIV. Human babies are also not spared, since the disease can be transmitted to them during pregnancy, at childbirth and during breastfeeding.
Studies have also confirmed that HIV can also be transmitted through tears, saliva and the nervous system tissues, though it is through the blood, vaginal secretions, semen and breast milk that HIV is transmitted primarily to other human bodies. It’s also worth noting that the HIV infection is never spread from one person to another through casual contacts such as hugging, or touching alone infected humans, or even when participating activities and sports. Mosquito bites do not transmit the infection.
Alongside the causes that affect people with the HIV infection, it is also important that we all study and familiarize AIDS symptoms that are the direct result affecting every organ in our bodies. The symptoms commonly associated with AIDS are various fever levels, sweating (which are mostly observed at night), significant weight loss, general weakness, chills and obvious swollen glands. Plus, there are also those serious risks of developing cancers, like Kaposi’s sarcoma and cervical cancer among others. A major complication that stems from HIV is tuberculosis. It is transmitted to people and cannot be easily treated once the infection has already settled in. The World Health Organization reported that in the 2007 alone, about 465,000 deaths worldwide were attributed to tuberculosis that was also HIV positive at the same time.
Now that we are already aware of what causes AIDS and how HIV is transmitted throughout the population, our preventive efforts will help much in suppressing the infection since there is still no official cure. Using condoms during sexual intercourse highly reduces the HIV risks as well as other sexually transmitted diseases. Infected mothers should care to avoid breastfeeding to avoid passing the disease to the infants. Those working in hospitals and clinics are much better off using barriers (gloves, shields or protective eye wares, masks, and disposing those sharp objects like scalpels and needles carefully) to prevent exposure. To top it all off, educating the population remains the best way to prevent the spread of the disease, and it should start in the school to strengthen the foundation.
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