The virus was first reported in 1981 in 5 homosexual men in Los Angeles. History and research have traced the origin to Congo, but there are still controversies about this with some believing that it came from a monkey and some believing it was released by scientists as a biological weapon. Initially, it was simply known as an immunodeficiency disease, but later on in 1982, the name of the pandemic changed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Virus (AIDS). Its transmission across the world has been attributed to the social personality of human beings (Centers for disease control and prevention).
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Distribution in the Human Body
Scientific evidence has shown that AIDS is the causative virus of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that is the cause of death because it affects the immune system. Specifically, it affects the CD4 cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections, which make them count lower than needed by the body to resist illnesses (Centers for disease control and prevention). This leads to development of opportunistic infections such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and cancer ailments among others.
The disease is spread mainly through bodily fluids specifically blood and plasma (Centers for disease control and prevention). This can be through sexual encounters with infected partners; an infected mother transmits it to the baby during breastfeeding, use of infected sharp instruments, such as razors and injections among others. The virus is usually present in other bodily fluids such as sweat and saliva, but the amount is too little to result to any form of infection.
Immediately after infection, there are neither signs nor symptoms. The symptoms that appear are primarily the symptoms of the opportunistic infections. It is only after doing a test to determine the presence of antibodies against the disease that one knows whether they are infected or not. The test is currently easily available even in third world countries. Medical practitioners are yet to establish a cure for the disease as it is, the only thing is to prevent oneself through having one faithful sexual partner, using a condom and abstinence.
Human Exposure to the Virus
The disease has many negative impacts on a person and the community as well, in general, the greatest impact being on the economy. People infected with HIV may be absent regularly from work or they may also be unable to work. This means that labor productivity reduces, orphans and lack of skilled labor where needed. In cases where young adults are affected, the future of such an economy is obviously threatened. A lot of money is used to cater for the needs of the sick including management drugs (Quinn 24).
Approximately a third of the people in the world are HIV/AIDS infected with the highest infections being in Africa where half of the total population have been diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS virus (Quinn 32). The World Health Organization stated that in 2009 only, 33.2 million people were infected all over the world. This is a pandemic that we have to accept and live with. Every individual is affected by the pandemic indirectly. Researchers and scientists have come up with antiviral therapy as a way of handling the pandemic. These are drugs such as abacavir, which help in strengthening the immunity of the patient to enable the body to fight off opportunistic infections and delay the development of HIV to full blown AIDS. Patients are also advised to have good nutrition to help the immune system. Education on the disease is currently widespread in order to create awareness among people and prevent stigmatization. To this end, the best advice is that prevention is better than cure.
Centers for disease control and prevention. HIV/AIDS Basics. 2006. Web.
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Quinn, Thomas C.. “Global burden of the HIV Pandemic”. The Lancet. 348.9020(1996): 99-106. Web.