Over the years, AIDS has been one of the most prevalent health problems worldwide. Various efforts by different organizations is being undertaken in order to arrest the disease’s continuous spread. However, given the complex nature of AIDS the whole world is left with more serious problems, which if not given proper attention and care may aggravate further the safety of the people.
For the purpose of this paper, the author aims to discuss the nature of AIDS as a disease. Likewise, it is also the objective of the author to illustrate how the disease understudy can become a serious threat to an individual’s health as well as discuss how the occurrence of AIDS can be prevented if not minimized.
What is AIDS?
According to various lexicons, AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. AIDS is a health problem caused by a virus commonly known as HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (NIAD, 2005). AIDS is actually considered a result of severe HIV infection. Hence, other references regard AIDS as the advance stage of HIV infection (NIAD, 2005).
How does an individual acquire AIDS?
AIDS and or HIV infection may be acquired by an individual in a number ways. Below are some examples of how AIDS or HIV is transmitted from one individual to another:
1. Blood Transfusion – during those years when techniques to easily detect HIV in the blood of a donor is not yet known, the recipient of the blood donor easily acquires HIV infection due to the transfer of infected blood.
2. Contaminated needles, syringes, etc.- the use or sharing of medical instruments such as needles and syringes that have been used to extract blood from an individual with HIV infection also contributes to the spread of the disease.
3. Sexual Intercourse – engaging in unprotected sex can also cause an individual to acquire HIV infection or AIDS. HIV penetrates the lining the vagina, vulva, penis, rectum, or the mouth.
4. Breast Feeding- Mothers who has the infection can easily transmit the virus to its new born my means of breast feeding.
Once HIV enters the body of an individual, it directly attacks the immune system of the human body. The AIDS- causing virus, once it enters the human body, disguises itself as an antibody- producing cell.
It continues to attack the immune system until such time that the body can no longer produce an antibody to counter the disguised cells. This is made possible by the failure of the immune system to distinguish an antibody from the virus.
Thus causing an HIV infected person to progressively weaken. Some of the symptoms exhibited by a person with HIV infections and or AIDS are as follows (Lecture Notes in Health Science IV):
c. Lack of energy
d. Enlarged lymph nodes
e. Weight Loss
f. Short-term memory Loss
Addressing AIDS is a Collective Effort
Taking into account the nature of HIV and the numerous ways it can be acquired by an individual, it cannot be gainsaid that the only way to prevent if not minimize the occurrence of AIDS-related cases is by means of refraining oneself from engaging in risky activities such as unprotected sex and by always observing proper personal hygiene.
Addressing the spread of AIDS is actually a collective effort. It is necessary and imperative for each and every individual to become extra careful with things so as not to further aggravate the continuous spread of AIDS especially that there is no vaccine available in the market yet to readily curtail the spread of this pandemic disease.
JASMS-PWU. Lecture Notes in Health Science IV (1993).
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. HIV Infection and AIDS. Retrieved February 19, 2007 from the NIAID Website: http://niaid.nih.gov.