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HIV AIDS: The Incurable Disease

Published / by Aimee / Leave a Comment

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is a fatal disease that targets the immune system of the human body and the infected person’s immune system will be very low that even a simple disease such as a common cold could prove deadly. It is recorded that an estimated 2.2 million people die due to HIV every year. The origin of the virus is unknown, though some believe it was transmitted from apes somewhere in Africa.

No Vaccine
Various researches have been undergone by various countries to find a cure for the disease, yet there is no proven cure for the disease till date. Advancements in science and technology had produced various treatments to slow down the progress of the disease, but the drugs are very costly and are not practical in poor countries such as Africa where the disease is widespread and so prevention is the best option.

How it Spreads?
It is important to know how the disease spreads so that we can follow preventive methods:

Sexual Contact: HIV is mainly transmitted through sexual contact from a person who is HIV positive. If an infected person has unsafe sexual contact with another person there is a surety that at the disease will be transmitted. Hence, if you a person who is sexually active and cannot abstain from constant sex, it is advisable that you use condoms and prevent exchange of bodily fluids.

Heredity: It is likely that a parent who is HIV positive is likely to transmit the disease to his/her unborn child.

Blood Transfusion: One of the most lethal attributes about HIV is that the infected person may not know that he is infected with the virus and simple blood transfusion in case of an emergency may lead to giving the gainer HIV. It is reported that 25 percent of infected people are not aware of their disease. The virus can be transmitted through blood transfusions, used needles, shaving blades, etc.

The inevitable
People infected with HIV face a very hard life as they have to undergo frequent medications and be extra careful every time and they are also mentally hurt as they are certain about their inevitable end. And the sad thing is that instead of supporting them in their needful time, many people ridicule and discriminate them and most infected persons cannot live a successful social life. To help these patients gain confidence many counselling is given by government and various social empowerment groups are available where people can share their thoughts with others and gain the confidence to live life.

Education
People in underdeveloped and developing countries need to be educated about the disease and made them know about how the disease spreads and how it affects the body. Also, people have to be thought that the disease cannot be transmitted through a simple touch or a handshake and hence not to consider infected persons as some vile untouchable being but to show compassion towards them and treat them as any normal person.

Detailed information about AIDS and its Effects

Published / by Hira / 1 Comment on Detailed information about AIDS and its Effects

The Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which is shortly known as AIDS is a serious disease which is caused by the virus named HIV. When a person is affected by this Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) his immune system will be affected and makes him weak to get affected by various infections and diseases. Normally this HIV virus will present in the fluids such breast milk, vaginal fluids and semen of the person who is infected. Both the syndrome and virus are commonly referred as HIV/AIDS.

The HIV virus can be passed from the infected person to another through sexual contact and blood to blood. Also if a pregnant woman has HIV infection then her baby will also get the virus in the birth and also in the time of breastfeeding. The virus can also be transmitted in many other ways such as oral sex, anal sex, vaginal, contaminated hypodermic needles and blood transfusion. This is the most severe disease which can lead a person to death and this was originated in Africa in the period of early twentieth century. However there is no treatment for this deadly disease. But the affected persons can take some treatments which can slow down the effect of the disease.

The HIV virus can affect the most significant organs in the body and the progression of the disease will depends upon various factors like age of the person, the ability of the body against HIV virus and genetic inheritance of an infected person etc.

There are many misconceptions about this disease and many of the people believe that the HIV virus can be transmitted through shaking hands, sneezing, casual kissing, hugging, sharing towels, using same toilet etc. But there are no such possibilities and the virus will not be transmitted in these ways. Many people do not know the symptoms of the HIV infection and they will not consider that as a serious problem. There are some common symptoms for the early infection of HIV virus and they are joint pain, fever, muscle ache, chills, sore throat, sweats and enlarged glands etc.

If the severity is increased then the person may have blurred vision, dry cough, night sweat, permanent tiredness, shortness of breath, weight loss, swollen glands for weeks etc. If a person is having these symptoms then he or she has to take immediate check-up and start treatment. The HIV virus can be diagnosed by doing a blood test which is especially performed to detect this virus. If the results are positive then it is confirmed that the person is having the HIV infection and he has to undergo some additional treatments. In another way, the virus infection can be identified by the ultra sensitive HIV sensor. This can give the accurate results when compared to the other tests. As it is mentioned already this problem does not have treatment but the transmission of the disease and its severity can be controlled. Also the life expectancy of the person can be extended. These are the possible outcomes from the HIV treatments (see our other articles here and/or here).

Can HIV be cured? Possible Cures for HIV/AIDS

Published / by Aimee / 2 Comments on Can HIV be cured? Possible Cures for HIV/AIDS

Human Immunodeficiency Virus belongs to a group of retrovirus that attacks the human immune system. The virus damages and kills the immune system of the body and such infection is spreading like wild-fire across the globe. Over 400 million humans have been HIV-infected over the last few decades. The symptoms of HIV are collectively known as AIDS – Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. The question is, can HIV be cured? Well, no. HIV is a lifelong disease and there is no procedure or medication that has been scientifically proven to cure HIV/AIDS. However, there are medications that are known to slow down the progression of the disease dramatically.

Knowledge of the HIV infection and its symptoms is crucial for treatment of the disease. Although HIV cannot be cured, patients with prior knowledge may seek requisite medical attention immediately. The answer to the “can HIV be cured?” question might be a no but it is, indeed, possible for patients to lead a normal healthy life with sufficient antiretroviral medication. When an individual detects he/she has been infected with the HIV, the patient may not seek immediate treatment. This decision varies from individual to individual depending on patient’s medical history, the period of time they’ve been infected for, current CD4 T cell count and current health. The doctor you consult must have knowledge and experience regarding HIV infection and must allow you to speak freely about your problems. However, it helps a lot if your condition is detected at an early stage.

Scientists all over the world believe they have ultimately discovered the cure for HIV, the sad detail still prevails that HIV causes incurable infection. If HIV is diagnosed before it causes AIDS, medication may allow the person to live a healthy active life. Antiretroviral drugs may fight the symptoms for long, but there is no ultimate cure for HIV till date. An average patient succumbs to the retrovirus within 10-11 years of infection. Medication may only prolong the damage caused by HIV to the immune system. Unfortunately, instead of offering a cure, many medicines prescribed for HIV treatment come with long-term side effects.

The HIV infection is increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. Medication may keep the virus in check giving you a scope to live a normal live, but it still remains incurable in the long run. Prognoses do not hold much promise in case of this disease. Consult your doctor about preventive measures rather than suffering the symptoms of HIV infection.

HIV and AIDS Facts: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

Published / by Aimee / 5 Comments on HIV and AIDS Facts: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment

The discovery of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the 1970s has added to man’s distress. As per statistics, over 12 million people have lost their lives battling the HIV disease. There is a constant rise in the number of individuals who has fallen prey to the painful symptoms of HIV – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Unfortunately, AIDS is a lifelong disease. Therefore it is vital to be educated about HIV and AIDS facts.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus belongs to a group of virus called retrovirus, which damages and eventually kills the cells once it gets into the human body. A lot of people are not aware as they do not notice symptoms after being infected. This is because the latent period of the virus is variable. HIV is transmitted from individual to individual through body fluids. Although it is an incurable disease, people may lead a healthy life with medical treatment that can keep the virus in check. To avail the immediately required medical attention, one must be aware of the basic HIV-AIDS facts.

Causative fluids of HIV: Semen, blood, vaginal secretion and breast milk. HIV transmission occurs due to these infected fluids from infected to healthy person. It is important to understand the various transmission methods of these fluids. Sexual contact (and not exchange of saliva) leads to transfer of body fluids. A common transmission method is the callous reuse of syringes and needles that have been infected by the HIV virus. Pregnant women who have been infected may pass the disease to offspring through delivery and breast feeding. Blood transfusion from people infected with HIV symptoms may also pass the virus. Prior knowledge about these HIV-AIDS facts is imperative so as not to spread the symptoms further.

A lot of people are left in the dark because the symptoms are unobserved for unknown periods. The development varies from person to person though. Headache, lymph-node enlargement, fever, flu-like conditions and fatigue are common HIV symptoms and normally disappear on their own within few weeks leaving the person feeling healthy. This kind of asymptotic phase may last forever.

Once you have your HIV-AIDS facts right, you know that all has not been lost upon detection of HIV symptoms. A variety of drugs have been developed to fight this disease. Antiretroviral drugs may be availed from any drugstore to treat the HIV disease. However, prognoses are not effective because an average patient will succumb to progress of disease in 10 years. It is therefore advisable to consult the doctor about preventive measures instead of suffering from symptoms of HIV.

Technology Continues to Fight AIDS

Published / by Jack / 2 Comments on Technology Continues to Fight AIDS

In 2008, Sub-Saharan Africa was populated with over 22 million HIV+ inhabitants, and currently there are over 5 million Southern Africans infected with the virus. Worldwide, there are upwards of 40 million people infected with HIV, a very frightening number. But with the coming of the 22nd annual World AIDS Day, it’s important to take note the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. At the same time, it’s very vital we familiarize ourselves with a couple great HIV research and technology investors.

Granted, there have already been major advances concerning affordable microbicides and vaccines as preventative measures against the virus. Similarly, the introduction of low-cost antiretroviral drugs has allowed people already infected to lead longer, healthier and happy lives.

This can most certainly be attributed to tremendous associations like the CGI (Clinton Global Initiative). The Clinton Global Initiative has put a tremendous amount of money into AIDS research. Known for his work in raising money for Hurricane/Tsnuami victims, former President Clinton and his close personal aide Doug Band also have great interest in tackling one of the deadliest STDs in the world, HIV/AIDS. Back in 2006, Clinton helped open people’s eyes to the severity of the disease in foreign states by traveling deep into Burma with the crew of 60 Minutes.

Before this however, he introduced CHAI (Clinton Health Access Initiative), outlined specifically as “a global health organization committed to strengthening integrated health systems in the developing world and expanding access to care and treatment for HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.” Their main objective was to travel to these third world countries like Burma, and distribute various treatments, which weren’t currently available to sufferers. Since it’s beginning, the organization has helped more than 2 million people gain access to medicines needed for treatment. But the efforts of Former President Clinton and his close personal aide did not end there. The CGI continues to receive funding for HIV related projects in third world countries like Southern Africa.

In their latest endeavor, they’ve joined forces with HP (Hewlett Packard) to deliver technologies that will capture, manage and return early diagnosis for infants. This translates to indentifying the virus in an infant within one to two days, which is a huge improvement from previous paper based systems. How is this important? Newly borne are especially susceptible to the disease as their carriers can very easily transmit. Similarly, it’s very crucial that they begin treatment as soon as possible to ensure survival; without, they are typically unable to survive past age two. In a statement to the press, Clinton stated, “I’m pleased HP’s technology and expertise will enable the partnership with CHAI to save the lives of more than 100,000 infants in Kenya each year, and in the process, demonstrate how the private sector can and should operate in the developing world.”

Within their first year, HP is expected to return results concerning HIV testing for nearly 70,000 infants in Kenya. The technologies introduced will also allow for real-time medical data, which will be viewable to health professionals across Kenya.

Known for it’s incredibly high number of HIV+ citizens, Africa remains one of the greatest challenges for organizations like CHAI/CGI today. Recent advancements in technology have helped lessen casualty rates and permitted people to live more productive lives. And although a cure remains unfound, HP and the CGI have provided great technological steps in the right direction towards eliminating the virus for good.

AIDS Awareness Poster

Published / by Aimee / 1 Comment on AIDS Awareness Poster

AIDS Awareness Day is marked not only by memorial events and public manifestations, but also by wearing the red ribbon or bracelet and by printing and promoting AIDS Awareness Posters. The purpose of any poster is to influence the public attitude, to change the behavior of those who see it and make them get more involved. AIDS Awareness Posters are created mainly to give an alarm signal and bring an improvement in AIDS Campaigns.

Posters are created to inform the public of what they can or must to in order to prevent the spreading of a virus and in response to the outbreak of a disease. This principle is valid for AIDS Awareness Posters as well. Each year, a different theme is chosen for these posters, but the message behind the drawings has to be, in the end, the same: it is time for you to do something against AIDS spreading!

There are several AIDS Awareness Posters pinpointed at specific groups. Some of them are more explicit, referring to drugs injections or unprotected sexual relationships, which are known to be the main causes for HIV spreading. But there are also AIDS Awareness Posters containing nothing but the red ribbon symbol, and their main purpose is to put an end to ignorance.

Cautionary posters are great tools of awareness, as they promote prevention and curative measures. In order to receive enough attention, these AIDS Awareness Posters have to keep the balance between aesthetics and communication. Of course the message is very important and has to be clear enough, but if the image is too shocking or abstract, then the purpose of the poster might not be achieved.

As a conclusion, AIDS Awareness Posters aren’t the ones that stop the disease or the virus spreading. This is a certain thing, but they can surely make a difference! Depending on where they are placed, who they impact and how are they done, AIDS Awareness Posters can be great prevention tools in AIDS Campaigns.