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Research paper topic: Aids - 1527 words
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.. AIDS from handshakes, hugs, coughs, sneezes, sweat, tears, mosquitoes, or other insects, pets, eating food prepared by someone else, or just being around an infected person. A person can't get it from sharing a cigarette, cigar, or pipe, drinking from the same fountain, or from someone spitting on him or her. A person also can't get it from using the same swimming pools, toilet seats, phones, computers, straws, spoons, or cups. Although the virus has been found in saliva, medical opinion states there is no evidence of contamination through wet kissing(What are HIV/AIDS 1). HIV is not spread through the air or water, unlike many other viruses(HIV/AIDS 2).
No one has ever caught AIDS by going to a physician or an eye doctor who has treated AIDS patients. No one has ever caught AIDS by eating in a restaurant where AIDS patients have been, nor by sharing a dwelling in which AIDS victims live. No one has caught AIDS by working, studying, or playing with an AIDS patient, unless bodily fluids were exchanged. No one has ever gotten AIDS from an insect bite, even where there are many people with AIDS and even where there are many people with dozens of mosquito bites(AIDS, Understanding 2). HIV is very fragile. It doesn't live long or well outside the human body.
It is easily killed with a 1:10 solution of bleach and water. It can be washed from skin with regular soaps. HIV will not survive outside the human body for more than a few hours at the most(Quackenbush 23). If a person thinks he or she might have HIV, he or she can get tested. HIV tests determine the presence of antibodies to the AIDS virus.
Antibodies are proteins produced by certain white blood cells to react with specific viruses, bacteria, or foreign substances that go into the body. The presence of antibodies to HIV indicates infection with the virus. The tests that detect the presence of HIV-1 became widely available in 1985. The tests that detect HIV-2 became widely available in 1992. All infected patients should get blood tests done periodically.
They should also have their health monitored by a physician(Drotman 164). There is no cure for HIV or AIDS, but treatments have been developed. The treatments help most people live longer. The infected people have to take medications to help them keep healthy and possibly postpone the development of AIDS(Johnson 33). Most of the medication has difficult side effects.
Even with all of this, about 18 months after a person has been diagnosed with AIDS, he or she usually get quite sick and require hospital care(AIDS, Understanding 4). Scientists are not sure how, when, or where the AIDS virus originated. Researchers have shown that HIV-1 and HIV-2 are more closely related to simian immunodeficiency viruses than to each other. Simian immunodeficiency viruses infect monkeys. It has been suggested that HIV evolved from viruses that originally infected monkeys in Africa. It was somehow transmitted to people.
There are many arguments to this theory. One is that HIV has only been found in human beings. It has never been isolated from any other animal species. Scientists believe The infection became widespread after significant social changes took place in Africa. Somewhere around the 1960's and the 1970's. HIV was isolated as being the cause of AIDS in 1983, and 1984.
Tests were then developed to detect the virus. These tests have been used to analyze stored tissues from people who had undetermined deaths in the 60's and the 70's. Scientists found that some of these people died from AIDS. During the 1990's an estimated one million people in the U.S. had the HIV infection or AIDS.
There are millions more throughout the world(Drotman 165). AIDS deaths has dropped significantly for the first time since the epidemic began in the early 1980's.They fell 13 percent in the first six months of 1996, to 22,000 people, down from 24,900 deaths in the same period a year earlier, reported by the Centers for Disease Control. The number of people diagnosed with AIDS still continues to grow, but the growth rate is slowing. From 1995 to 1996 the growth rate was less than 2%. The growth rate from 1993 to 1994 was 5%. First signs of drop in deaths of AIDS victims came in January 1997, when New York City reported a 30 percent drop in the number of Aids deaths in 1996.
The Center for Disease Control credits better treatments, new drugs, and better access to treatment through state and federal programs. Some think that the decline is unfortunately only a standstill, because for some patients the new drugs are not effective(Meyer A1). Doctors and researchers have been doing research on the virus. They have studied several drugs that stop the growth of HIV in laboratories. One of the drugs is zidovudine, formerly called azidothymidine and commonly known as AZT.
Research suggest that azidothymidine can delay the onset of opportunistic illnesses. This drug produces toxic side effects. Some other ones are didanosine(ddl), zalcitbine, which was formerly known as dideoxycytidine and commonly called ddc, and stavudine, which is commonly called D4T. These three drugs also produce dangerous side effects. Researchers are investigating treatments to help restore normal function to the immune system.
They believe that any eventual cure must stop the growth of the virus, prevent opportunistic illnesses, and restore the immune system(Drotman 164). Some vaccines are being tested on animals and as of 1993, one is being tested on people who are at very high risk(Nichols 11). Magic Johnson's HIV is now undetectable, but not absent. Though he is not cured, powerful drugs have reduced the AIDS virus in his body to undetectable levels. Undetectable does not mean absent.
Activists hope that his progress encourages people to get tested and take advantage of improved treatment. Thousands of HIV patients have had their infections recede to undetectable levels after taking drugs called protease inhibitor. Even though a person with undetectable virus levels can still infect other people. Even if the virus is undetectable in blood or semen, it can still be present in other areas such as intestines. Protease inhibitors reduce illnesses in infected people.
These drugs are taken on a strict schedule along with two other AIDS drugs. It requires particular timing. Some drugs must be taken an hour before eating or two hours after. Even with this patients still get side effects. Some of the side effects are nausea, vomiting, headaches, backaches, and gastrointestinal problems.
As many as forty percent of the people who take the concoction of drugs develop a resistance to them either because the virus becomes resistant after years of on other drugs, or because patients don't or are unable to take the drugs as ordered. These wonder drugs are expensive costing between $12,000 and $15,000 a year. Although these drugs are expensive it is still worth prolonging a person's life. The virus infects children and newborns, too. Newborns become quite ill by age 1, because their immune system has not fully developed.
Most babies that are infected die by 18 months(Quackenbush 23). Today kids need to know about HIV and AIDS. They need to know how a person gets the virus, how it is spread, how they won't get it, what it is, how they can protect themselves from it, and what's going to happen to them if they get it. The real risk of infection for them is through sexual molestation by an infected adult. There are three main reasons why children need to know. One is natural curiosity.
AIDS is now an undeniable part of the world. They are curious about the world. They have questions about the world. Another reason is the anxiety children may have about the disease. They understand that AIDS is a very serious disease. The thing they don't understand is the concept of not casually transmitted.
The final reason is some children have family members or friends with HIV or AIDS. The kids that have an infected family member or friend face many personal challenges. They get harassed by their peers because their peers don't know what HIV or AIDS is. They think that the kid has cooties or something. Children need to know about HIV and AIDS so they can understand and so they don't harass other kids about it(Quackenbush 27).
In the United States, federal, state, and local government have provided funds for education, treatment, and research of AIDS. Public health clinics have counseling and HIV-antibody testing to people who have symptoms or are at risk of infection(Drotman 164). Community organizations hope that greater awareness will lead to more compassion and more funding. One project is the AIDS quilt. It was begun in 1986 by an organization called the NAMES Project.
This quilt consists of thousands of individually designed panels, which memorializes a person who died of AIDS. This quilt has been displayed in many cities throughout the world(Drotman 164). AIDS has killed many people. People need to be more aware and protect themselves so they don't become another statistic, because HIV and AIDS are serious, deadly, and they will be with us for a long time. There will not be a cure found anytime soon, but hopefully there will be a cure found. Medicine Essays.
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