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AIDS; A World Wide Disease, Is There A Cure?

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Introduction

AIDS; A World Wide Disease, Is There A Cure? AIDS, acquired immune deficiency syndrome is the most devastating of all sexually transmitted diseases (STD'S). It has become a world wide epidemic in less than 30 years. By the end of 2002 38.6 million adults and 3.2 million children were living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This is 50% higher than what was projected by the world health organisation (WHO) in 1991 on the basis of the data then available. During 2002 5 million people became infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which cause AIDS. That year also saw 3.1 million deaths from HIV/AIDS, a higher global total than any other year since the beginning of the epidemic. Around half the people who acquire HIV become infected before they turn 25 and die of the illness known as AIDS before there 35th birthday. This age factor makes AIDS uniquely threatening to children. By the end of 2001, the epidemic had left behind a cumulative total of 14 million AIDS orphans, defined as those having lost one or both parents to AIDS before reaching the age of 15. In 2002, an estimated 800,000 children aged 14 or younger became infected with HIV. Over 90% were babies born to HIV-positive women, who acquired the virus at birth or through their mother's breast milk. ...read more.

Middle

This leads to them dieing from trivial illnesses like the flu. It is thought by many scientists that HIV originated from simians carrying SIV (simian immunodeficiency virus). Scientists have determined that SIV is virtually identical to HIV-1 (one of the two types of HIV). This means that HIV could have come from simians and crossed to humans. This could have happened in a number of ways, he most likely is that tribesmen ate meat form infected simians and the virus passed to humans that way. Another, yet controversial theory is that the virus was passed to humans through polio vaccines grown in chimpanzee kidneys. It is not know for sure that HIV originated form SIV or that both humans and simians were infected from a third and yet unidentified source. Either way there would have had to be at least two people infected for the virus to survive through to the next generation. (above information taken from encyclopedia Britannica) Even though there is no cure for AIDS at the present time things can be done to prevent it spreading and affecting more people. As HIV is manly spread by unsafe sex it is that issue which needs to be addressed. To prevent the virus from being passed to another person during sexual intercourse a barrier method needs to be used (condoms). ...read more.

Conclusion

Caring for people with AIDS is also extremely exhausting for medical staff given the resources available. In developing countries the money required is simple not available. If people with AIDS wish to stay in their own homes, as most do, for as long as possible, many volunteers are needed from the community to provide company, emotional and practical support. Another factor to consider is that the majority of AIDS victims are in the prime of the life when they would be making their most significant contribution to society. (above information taken from the book "the cost of disease" published 2002) AIDS has become a world wide epidemic in such a short time, it has infected and killed millions of people and is now spreading faster than it ever has. In conclusion there is no cure for AIDS and the only real way of stopping it is to prevent it from spreading by teaching people how they can do their part of preventing it from spreading. People who are infected may not be able to be cured, but with the right medication and the social and emotional help they need they can still lead long and fulfilling lives. It is everyone's hope that a cure will be found soon but until then realistic amount of money need to be given to AIDS research and to governments to help people who are living with the HIV. ...read more.

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