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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.

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.