HIV and AIDS - We are Close to a Cure
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AIDS is a major disease that has threatened the world's population but many scientists believe that a cure is in sight. These scientists say they have developed a vaccine that will cure a dying AIDS patient. They also believe that have created a vaccine that will prevent a person from contracting the virus.
AIDS stands for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Acquired stands for that the disease is not hereditary but develops after birth from contact with a disease causing agent in this case, HIV. Immunodeficiency means that the disease is characterized by a weakening of the immune system. Syndrome means a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease. In AIDS this can include the development of certain infections and cancers, as well as a decrease in the number of certain cells in a person?s immune system (What is AIDS).
HIV is transmitted in many different ways. It can be spread by sexual contact with an infected person, or by sharing needles. It is less common now because blood is now screened for the virus through blood transfusion. Babies that are born to HIV infected women may become infected before or during birth or through breast-feeding. Doctors and nurses have also been infected at the work place. They can be infected by being stuck with a needle containing HIV-infected blood. Sometimes workers can get infected through open wounds. There is only one case in the U.S. in which a patient has been infected by the worker (HIV and Its Transmission).
This involved one infected dentist infecting six of his patients. Some people fear that HIV might be transmitted in other ways, but there is no proof to support it. If HIV was being transmitted through other common ways such as through the air, water, or insects the cases of HIV and AIDS cases would be much higher than they already are (HIV and Its Transmission).
Many people are ashamed to admit to family and, loved ones that they are infected or may be infected. For example, Monica was fifteen years old when she became infected. She wrote about how she became infected ?My best friend who is a male has AIDS and we were really close so one night we experimented and after the fact that we did it he told me he had AIDS. I was so angry at him and scared.
I told my mom and she took me to get tested right away. Unfortunely, I was HIV positive. I went in my room and cried for days. The only other thing I was worried about was my family and father, that they would be so ashamed of me? (Personal Story of Women Living with HIV). Monica did the right thing; she told her mother what had happened. She quickly began to take medications in order to stay healthy for as long as possible. In many cases the infected patient won?t tell his or her family and friends. This women did not state her name, but she is twenty-three. She states ?Last year was supposed to be one of the best years of my life. I was having a baby girl, my husband?s step mother was having a baby, and so was my sister. After two weeks of having my baby, I was looking for something in my sister?s room and found her hospital discharged papers. Not in big letter, but as clear as day on the top it had discharge diagnosed HIV+ with a circle around it. I knew there was something going on with her, because my mother was giving me small hints. I asked her why she didn?t breast feed and she said she can?t. When I found out I almost fainted. I quickly rushed home in complete tears and told my husband. I had mixed feelings about her HIV status. First, I was angry with her because I told her time and time to slow down, because she was having plenty of partners and having lots of unprotected sex. God only knows who she contracted it from, but she still has not given up her old patterns. Her child has tested negative, but she is in a state of denial. She knows I know her status, but hasn?t said a word to me about it? (Personal Story of Women Living with HIV). This woman is right about the fact her sister is in denial. She is not helping the problem because she hasn?t changed her old ways. She runs the risk of infecting many more people.
There are other many different symptoms that can occur in those who are infected. First signs of the illness are most people develop flu like illness. A thick whitish color on your tongue could be caused by a yeast infection and sometimes can come with a sore throat. Vaginal yeast infections can occur over and over again. Rashes appear unexplained on the skin. Numbness occurs in the arms and legs. Reflexes are slowed an muscle strength is diminished. An HIV+ person can also suffer from mood swings and mental deterioration. Hardening or swelling often occurs in the glands, throat, armpits and groin. Deep dry coughing is accompanied by shortness of breath. An HIV+ person may a get large purplish growth on their skin, and unexplained bleeding from the growths. Unexplained fatigue occurs with headaches and dizziness. An infected person will lose weight, and bruise more easily. Long lasting periods of diarrhea can occur. Fevers of night sweats will occur often. In the early progression of the disease boils or warts may spread all over the body. The mouth may become infected by thrush or other problems. Shingles may develop or herpes. Chest infections are the most common infection. With HIV the most common chest infection is tuberculosis (What is AIDS).
AIDS is a deadly disease that affects people of different ages and sexes. The larger a city is the more infected people. The state of Maryland is a little state and only has 25,358 people infected and New York there are 155,755 people infected. I think that is because the larger the state the more people doing drugs and have multiple partners. Also, just that there just so many more people in New York than there is in Maryland. I think is more common in the city for the drug use than it is in the rural suburbs (United States).
There are many different ways to come in contact with AIDS. The most cases occur among gay men. In December 2002, 384,492 gay males where infected with AIDS. This may be because there are gay men that won?t admit that they are gay. They are in denial, so they will sleep with men and women, doubling their chances of becoming infected and infecting others. Another common cause of infection is injection drugs. In December 2002, 209,800 people were infected with AIDS by sharing needles with other infected people. 12,431 heterosexual people also had been infected with AIDS in December 2002. This can be traced to people having unprotected sex with many different partners (HIV and AIDS cases by race/ethnicity, gender and exposure category through December 2002).
There have been inclines in the number of AIDS case by year. From 1998 the total infected number of people in the U.S was 288,194 and in 2002 the number of infected Americans climbed up to 384,323. That is a large climb for only a time period of four years. Large incline can be explained because of an increase in drug use. The incline is also because of people not knowing that they are infected. Those not knowing they are infected and infecting others (HIV and AIDS cases by race/ethnicity, gender and exposure category through December 2002).
The most affect by the AIDS disease are people from the ages of thirty-five to forty-four. The next leading age group is people from ages twenty-five to thirty-four. They have a high number of cases because they are still young and engage in sex with multiple partners. Men and women are using injection drugs and have multiple partners so their chance of getting infected is doubled (United States).
There are different stages of AIDS. First, there is the Asymptomatic stage, followed by the Symptomatic stage, then the End of Life stage. There are different types, of treatment during these stages. The body is working hard to make the right antibodies to fight the infections, and the blood test will test positive at this stage (Kanabus).
The Asymptomatic stage is the first stage of HIV. If a person thinks they may be infected, they should get tested. If the test is positive he or she can start treatment right away. A major part of treatment is your food and nutrition. Nutritional care and support includes an adequate quantity and quality of food. But improved nutrition is not enough in itself to permanently keep people healthy. When is comes to vitamins and minerals, it is unclear to what extent these are helpful in the early stages but it doesn?t hurt to take them. Another important thing in this stage is to take care of your self, eat correctly, get plenty of rest, and to avoid stress (Kanabus).
The Symptomatic stage is the stage in which you will suffer from reduction in food intake. This may be done to sores in the mouth, fatigue or depression. Changes in mental state and other psychological factors may also play a role by affecting a person?s appetite and interest in food. Also the side effects from medications can also result in lower dietary intakes that can cause weight loss. A person will have more bouts of diarrhea that last for long periods of time. When food is restricted, the body responds by altering insulin and glucagons production, which regulate the flow of sugar and other nutrients in the intestine, blood, liver and other body tissue. Over time, your body will use up the carbohydrates it stored. From muscle and liver tissue, it begins to break down body protein to produce glucose. This process causes protein loss and muscle wasting. Malnutrition can be reduced by treating the immediate sources of the problem: the oral thrush, mouth sores, or other infections. It is also important to provide soft foods and food tolerated by the infected person. People suffering from diarrhea should take plenty of fluids or use oral rehydration solutions to avoid dehydration. If possible an infected person should try to eat as frequently as possible, even if it is in small amounts at a time. There are traditional healers and medications. Traditional medicine differs greatly from region to region and is often very specific to location. People with AIDS often become frustrated with management of their disease and many are willing to try anything in the hope of staying healthy for longer. Traditional medicines should be should replace by more proven modern treatments if they are available. However, in the absences of such treatments, traditional medicine can be a feasible option if it relieves pain and makes the patient feel better (Kanabus).
During the end of life stage the only thing an infected person can do during this stage is prepare for death. Infected persons should resolve old fights, tell all family and friends that they love them. They should tell them hopes for the future for them especially for young children left behind. Make sure they know its okay to live their life to the fullest extent (Kanabus).
Has a cure been found in Kenya? Black health officials have charged that white racism is to blame for the lack of publicity about a Kenyan drug hailed as an inexpensive cure for AIDS. The President of Kenya, Daniel Mol, announced in the early summer that a cure was found for AIDS, a drug called Kemron. It is marketed by the Kenyan government. They say that 1300 patients that have taken this drug that when they were close to death, recovered fully and tested HIV negative. ?This is the first victory over AIDS and it?s coming out of Africa, yet you haven?t heard anything about it,? said Gary Byrd, a New York radio talk show host who led a fact-finding mission in Kenya. Gary Byrd heard of this drug through the New York Native, a gay publication. He then put together a medical team, and a publication team, and asked Dr. Barbara Justice to come to Kenya to see if this drug was for real. Dr. Justice tested AIDS patient, Cedric Standifford. He was dying of AIDS ?When we left New York, Cedric could barely keep up. Today he is responding to the treatment and it looks like he will be okay.? Black health official say that the drug was not publicized like it should have been because of white distrust of African science. They also said that the drug was put down because it of posed the expensive AIDS drugs that are manufactured by the white medical establishment. Ronal Woodroof said this after being on the drug for hundred and twenty-two days, ?I don?t know how this works but there?s nothing else that can hold a candle to it.? He also said that he feels better than even before he had AIDS (AIDS Cure in Kenya).
On August 19, 2002 Washington AIDS researchers reported they had a vaccine. The vaccine would protect people from getting infected by the virus. There are many different vaccines in development but this is the first truly protective vaccine. Dr. Robert Gallo who helped discover the AIDS virus said that there are many different types of the HIV viruses. There is HIV type A, B, C, D, and E. And these types are generally found in only certain people. Type B is found mostly in Europe, the Americas and Japan. While type A, C, D, and E are spreading all through Africa and Asia, so a vaccine in the United States may not work to protect Africans, who are hardest hit by AIDS. He also stated that the strategy designed here has worked in laboratory test systems and that he had no reason to believe that man should be an exception, but one doesn?t make claims without data (A Promising Twist on AIDS Cure).
Our society has reason to believe that we are close to have a cure or vaccine to prevent and to kill the HIV and AIDS virus. We have come so far in the passed 20 years when the virus started to infect large numbers. Image in the next 20 years with all the technology we have and we will have a vaccine that will prevent and cure the AIDS and HIV virus.
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