by Kohl Shaw

AIDS/HIV


Background

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome(AIDS) has had a devastating affect on many millions of people in the world. AIDS/HIV was first officially documented in the United States in June of 1981. AIDS/HIV has affected many people and has taken the lives of about 39 million people around the world according to the World Health Organization. It slowly began to takes its toll on the population. It started increasing in frequency. According to the World Health Organization stated in 2013 there were 35 million people living with AIDS/HIV. AIDS is a disease that results from HIV and cannot be cured. AIDS/HIV affects a large population but is a larger problem in some areas of the population. Drug users, sex workers, and people in 3rd world countries have a higher HIV/AIDS count. In the beginning AIDS/HIV was thought to be cancer or pneumonia. The first people this disease was seen in were homosexual men. For a while people saw this disease only affecting homosexuals this was of course false. AIDS/HIV has been a large problem and the use of current technology and society has made the danger lower. As a result of society and technology advancing in many ways AIDS/HIV has started to level off in cases and deaths.


AIDS/HIV Treatment

AIDS/HIV originated in apes. This virus mutated and jumped species and started affecting humans. The virus attacks the human amuse system. It is a sexually transmitted disease that can also be transmitted through needles. Once contracted HIV turns into AIDS and it is a terminal disease. HIV is the beginning stage where the virus attacks the lymphocytes, helper T-cells. Theses cells are vital for the amuse system to function properly. As HIV progresses the affected person loses more and more helper T-cells until it is diagnosed as AIDS. There are three stages of HIV. The first stage known as acute infection is where the HIV is being produced in large amounts. In this stage most people develop flu like symptoms. The second stage is called the clinical latency stage. In this stage the the person may not be showing symptoms and can lay dormant slowly reproducing itself for ten years. If you receive treatment the HIV can last in this stage for around several decades. The final stage of HIV is AIDS. The diagnosis is different between countries but in the United States it is when the T-cell count drops below 200 cells for every cubic millimeter of blood. In this stage if the person does not receive treatment they will most likely die in around three years. Technology has slowly been improving the likelihood of survival and keeping the virus from maturing to AIDS is much better. There are currently four classes of treatmentfor HIV. Class one is Nucleoside/Nucleotide Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NRTIs). This class of drug combats the HIV by providing faulty building material for the virus. This causes the virus to be unable to reproduce itself. The second class is Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors (NNRTIs). This class fights the HIV by blocking the virus from replicating itself. The third class of drug is called Protease Inhibitors (PIs). This drug also blocks the HIV from replicating itself. The forth class is called Entry/Fusion Inhibitors this drug keeps the HIV from ever entering the cells and destroying them. The use of technology has improved cases and helped people live longer lives. These treatments have done amazing things for people who have contracted this virus. These treatments have made it possible for people who have HIV to live an almost normal life span. The other way counties have tried to combat the virus is public information and movements directed towards HIV.


Affected People

When AIDS was first discovered it was found mostly in the gay population. Gay men were seen as the people affected by the disease. AIDS even got the name GRID (gay-related immune deficiency). Later heterosexual males were being reported as contracting aids. After a little bit of time AIDS was said to affect the h club homosexuals, heroin addicts, hemophiliacs and Haitians. There is much controversy over stereotypes and stigmas on who AIDS affects. People tend to think black people are more likely to get AIDS than white people and other races. In 2011 47% of the reported cases of AIDS in the UnitedStates were black people. This is the highest percent of reported cases. Next was white peopleat 28% and then hispanic/latino at 20%. Homosexual cases count for 78% of all new cases in males according to AIDS.gov. From these statistics taken in 2011 we can see that AIDS in the US does affect specific groups and ethnicities. The reason HIV affects more of these people is not for genetic reasons it is because people in these groups being more greatly affected are lacking the knowledge or protection.


Prevention and Education

HIV has grown in number of cases, in 1990 there were 8 million people living with HIV. By 2011 34 million people were living with HIV. In the recent years the number of new cases have leveled off. The reason for this is public awareness and use of technology to spread to all areas of the public. Many campaigns were created, HIV Treatment Works, We Can Stop HIV One Conversation at a Time, Start Talking. Stop HIV, Lets Stop HIV Together, Reasons, Testing Makes us stronger, Take Charge. Take the Test., Act Against AIDS, Be The Generation, Drugs + HIV > Learn the Link, Get Checked, Information is Powerful Medicine, One Test. Two Lives., Prevention is Care. These are just a few campaigns in america and other countries. People in the United States have taken serious action to inform the public about testing, sexual education, and ways to contract the virus. Children are being taught at a younger age about sex, being safe, and how to avoid STDs. Children also learn at a young age about the risk of drugs and how they can affect you. If children are taught to avoid drugs then they will learn to avoid unsanitary needles. Testing for the virus is also being encouraged, because 1 out of seven people living with HIV do not know it. This also prevents mothers from giving birth to HIV positive babies. 3.2 million children world wide are living with HIV according to AIDS.gov. This isn't fare to the children and these campaigns are working to stop these things from happening.

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In the united states study a statistic showed that 1 in 7 people are unaware of their infection.

Conclusion

AIDS/HIV prevention and treatment has come a long way since the first cases. In the beginning not even knowing what this disease was doing or how it was affecting us to now knowing exactly what it does and how to prevent it. Scientists and people in medicine around the world have come up with treatments that will triple the expected life time of someone with AIDS. People around the world have dedicated them selves to educate kids and people about the dangers of AIDS/HIV and how to prevent it. Many different organizations and movements have been created to combat the spread of the disease. All of these things have started to level off the number of cases and have made a huge difference. AIDS/HIV affects many people, 1.2 million are living in the US alone. This problem is a world wide problem affecting 35 million people in the whole world.