Aids Essay Research Paper AIDS and HIV
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Aids Essay, Research Paper AIDS and HIV are becoming more and more of a problem in the world. In Canada there have been “14,500 AIDS cases reported and “50,000 Canadians” have come in contact with the virus. “5000″ people become infected each year.(The Canadian AIDS Society 1997 [poster]) AIDS and HIV can affect people of all ages, whether they are “old, young, male, or female” (Basic facts about AIDS/HIV). People of all ages should have a general knowledge of AIDS and HIV. They should be fully aware of how to protect themselves of this disease, what the disease can do to their bodies, and how to go about testing for the HIV virus. AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrom, is the most developed stage of HIV (Griege 1987, p.22). HIV cannot cause harm unless it enters the bloodstream. If the HIV virus was to enter the body’s bloodstream, it would destroy the white blood cells called “helper-T cells”. This would affect the body’s “immune system” because the role of the white blood cells is to protect the body from diseases. The immune system would not be able to perform without the white blood cells (Griege 1987, p. 22). AIDS causes infections to occur that is not normally seen in “normal individuals”. This is true because the immune system is so weak that it can not prevent these infections (Collier’s Encyclopedia 1984, p.241). AIDS is not the disease that is being transmitted from person to person, it is HIV. HIV can be transmitted in a few different ways. One way that it can be transmitted is through “sexual intercourse” without the use of a condom. It can be transmitted through the “vagina or the anus” if the penis was to enter either one. The disease is transmitted easier through “anal intercourse” than through vaginal intercourse because “of the thin lining of the rectum”. The sharing of sex toys is also another way of catching HIV virus. The virus can be also transmitted through the sharing of needles, with an infected person, for drug use (Canadian AIDS Society 1997, p.1-26). If someone catches HIV through injecting drugs, themselves and their sexual partners have a higher risk of developing AIDS. These people hold the highest percentage of AIDS (Levy 1998, p.776). Tattooing and skin piercing with dirty needles is also a risk of catching HIV. This happens because HIV is transmitted through blood. There is a possibility the HIV can passed from mother to fetus or if the mother was to become infected after the baby was born, it could be past through breast feeding the baby (Canadian AIDS Society1997, p.1-26). Traces of HIV have been found in saliva; However, HIV cannot be transmitted through kissing but heavy kissing should not to be practiced. It has been said that there is a slight possibility that HIV could be passed from a bite from one human to another. These two statements are still being discussed between the experts (Landau-Staton and Clements 1993, p. 174-175). Blood transfusions were once a risk of getting HIV but is not anymore because HIV test are done on all blood that is donated. HIV cannot be transmitted through the air or by touching an infected person. Also insects, such as mosquitoes, cannot infect a person with HIV. When the HIV virus is outside the body it is very weak and cannot be transmitted through the water. Drinking or eating from an infected person is not a way that HIV can be transmitted, neither is using the same washroom (Canadian AIDS Society 1997 p.1-26 ). There are ways in which a person can protect him or herself from catching of transmitting HIV. One way is, not to have sex at all. This is the only hundred percent way of not catching the HIV virus. Another way is to have sex with only one partner that is very faithful. Using a latex condom during sexual intercourse is one way to reduce the risk of catching or transmitting the virus, but it is not a hundred percent safe.