AIDS And You The Lethal Relation Essay

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AIDS And You: The Lethal Relation Essay, Research Paper AIDS and You: The Lethal Relation George Stamatopoulos Mrs. Polychronopoulou English 110 19 February, 1997 We know enough about how the infection is transmitted to protect ourselves from it without resorting to such extremes as mandatory testing, enforced quarantine or total celibacy. But too few people are heeding the AIDS message. Perhaps many simply don’t like or want to believe what they hear, preferring to think that AIDS “can’t happen to them.” Experts repeatedly remind us that infective agents do not discriminate, but can infect any and everyone. Like other communicable diseases, AIDS can strike anyone. It is not necessarily confined to a few high- risk groups. We must all protect ourselves from this

infection and teach our children about it in time to take effective precautions. Given the right measures, no one need get AIDS. AIDS is a life and death issue. To have the AIDS disease is at present a sentence of slow but inevitable death. I’ve already lost one friend from AIDS. I may soon lose others. My own sexual behavior and that of many of my friends has been profoundly altered by it. In U.S.A. one man in10 may already be carrying the AIDS virus. While the figures may currently be less in much of the rest of the country, this is changing rapidly. There currently is neither a cure, nor even an effective treatment, and no vaccine either. But there are things that have been PROVEN immensely effective in slowing the spread of this hideously lethal disease. AIDS stands for

Acquired Immune Defficiency Disease. It is caused by a virus. The disease originated somewhere in Africa about 20 years ago. There it first appeared as a mysterious ailment afflicting primarily heterosexuals of both sexes. It probably was spread especially fast by primarily female prostitutes there. AIDS has already become a crisis of STAGGERING proportions in parts of Africa. In Zaire, it is estimated that over twenty percent of the adults currently carry the virus. That figure is increasing. And what occurred there will, if no cure is found, most likely occur here among heterosexual folks. AIDS was first seen as a disease of gay males in the world. This was a result of the fact that gay males in our culture internationally, in the days before AIDS had an average of 200 to 400

new sexual contacts per year. This figure was much higher than common practice among heterosexual (straight) men or women. For these reasons, the disease spread in the gay male population immensely more quickly than in other populations. It became to be thought of as a “gay disease”. Because the disease is spread primarily by exposure of ones blood to infected blood or semen, drug addicts who shared needles also soon were identified as an affected group. As the AIDS epidemic began affect increasingly large fractions of those two populations (gay males and drug abusers), many of the rest of this society looked on smugly, for both populations tended to espied by the “mainstream” of society here. But AIDS is also spread by heterosexual sex. In addition, it is spread by blood

transfusions. New born babies can acquire the disease from infected mothers during pregnancy. Gradually more and more “mainstream” folks got the disease. Finally, even the national news media began to join in the task of educating the public to the notion that AIDS can affect everyone. The best way to avoid AIDS is to regard it as a highly lethal disease and practice commonsense prevention. Avoiding infection is IN ONE’S OWN HANDS. People can protect themselves. To stop its spread, people are encouraged to obtain and apply accurate AIDS information to their living styles and sexual habits in order to reduce the risk of getting or transmitting the virus. Sadly, health promoters claim that “reaching the many who don’t want to know” is no easy task. Health promoters