The Physical And Psychological Effects Of AIDS

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The Physical And Psychological Effects Of AIDS Essay, Research Paper The reality of AIDS has insinuated itself into everyday life and language over the past decade. Though looked at as a foreigner, AIDS is in our entire society; employment, homes, and our intimate relationships. People with the AIDS virus feel trapped and have a desire to break away from the bondage that this horrible disease has with the person. However, running from the issue at hand only makes the problem worse. With one?s own strength and the loving support of others a positive result can be attained. Ignorance is the main problem with AIDS today. Too many people are judgmental about the disease without having any knowledge of its nature. AIDS is a disease caused by the human immune deficiency virus, or

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which destroys one?s natural ability to fight illnesses (Rodger et al. 498). HIV is the generally accepted name for the virus, however, other types have been discovered, the most common being HIV-1. HIV related illnesses include the direct effects of the virus and the effects of opportunistic infections. When a person becomes infected with the HIV virus, it causes a breakdown of the body?s immune system. This breakdown lowers the immune system significantly causing the HIV virus to develop into full-blown AIDS and other harmful illnesses such as pneumonia and cancers, ultimately causing death (Rodger et al. 499). The transmission of the AIDS virus can occur in variety of ways, the most common is through unprotected sexual activity. This allows

the exchange of bodily fluids between an infected and uninfected person, heterosexual or homosexual. Infected intravenous drug users also transmit the virus through the blood of a shared syringe or other drug paraphernalia. The virus can also be transmitted during a blood transfusion with contaminated blood. The final way of transmission is from mother to child, an infected mother can infect her child through her breast milk (Clarke 86). The window of time from the date of HIV infection to the development of full-blown AIDS can be longer than ten years. A person receives a diagnosis of AIDS after one of the opportunistic diseases develops. Much has been accomplished regarding the knowledge of the AIDS virus since its discovery in the early 1980?s, however, even as medical

treatments become stronger and offer more hope to the victims, AIDS still does not have a vaccine to cure theses victims (Clarke 92). With the knowledge of having no permanent cure, AIDS patients tend to question the illness, the people surrounding them, and also their own life. When a person is suffering in life, they experience physical and psychological threats. These threats appear to be stronger than the person?s own resources (Rodger et al. 501). The annihilation of individuality, the feeling of being overwhelmed by an uncontrollable force, is the greatest threat to a human being. The AIDS virus greatly effects the victim?s self esteem, body image, independence, environment, and relationships. AIDS is that uncontrollable force that threatens so many people in the world.

One?s body is their frame of reference, their means of expression, and a foundation for establishing and maintaining relationships. The body is a way to express thoughts, along with a means to relate with the world. When one?s frame of reference is changed, their personality changes as well (Clarke 87). The AIDS virus also effects an individual?s body independence. A person?s independence gives courage and strength to attempt and accomplishment of personal goals. The virus makes the victim feel the exact opposite, completely powerless. Psychological theory explains that people affected by AIDS feel helpless due to trauma, traumatic stress reactions, or depression (Tsasis 555). The victims? interaction with their environment also causes these feelings of hopelessness. When a