AIDS is a problem that is prevalent in several countries in the world. It is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV. It damages the person’s immune system, leaving him or her unable to fight off other bacteria, parasites, yeasts, viruses, and diseases resulting to more serious illnesses or even death.
When a person infected with HIV acquires a T-cell or CD4 cell count that is lower than 200/mm, AIDS manifests itself. In the United States, AIDS ranks fifth in the list of top fatal diseases in people aged 25-44. It has affected around 50 million people across the globe, and experts predict that the number will continuously rise unless something is done to prevent and stop the spread.
How can you get AIDS?
AIDS, or Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is transmitted in several ways. A pregnant woman who has the syndrome can pass it on to her baby during pregnancy through the food nutrients and blood exchanged between them. A person who engages in sexual activities without using protection is also prone to contracting it. Those that like to sleep around with just about anybody, without knowing the sexual histories of these strangers, are also at risk. Fluid transmission through blood transfusion, semen, breast milk, and vaginal fluid can also transmit AIDS. Because of all these, AIDS is considered pandemic. Every year, about 3 million people are reported to have been infected with AIDS.
What are the symptoms of AIDS?
The most common symptoms of AIDS are fever, swollen glands, flu, and excessive sweating. A patient may experience weight loss, weakness, and chills. These symptoms are not present in the early stages. This is why a lot of people do not know that they have the disease until the symptoms become much more severe.
How is AIDS treated?
There is no known treatment method that has successfully eliminated AIDS or HIV completely. Today’s treatments can only reduce the rate of spread of infection. The anti-retroviral treatment works by slowing down the attacks by newly-acquired infections and prolong the lifespan of the patient. AIDS drugs and medication are available in all parts of the world. However, they are quite expensive.
Medical professionals and scientists are conducting extensive research, and numerous studies and experiments to finally find a cure for AIDS. For many years now, many people have lost their lives to the disease because of the prohibitive cost of treatment.
Governments are working hard to provide assistance to their AIDS-infected citizens. Various campaigns to educate people about AIDS and HIV are ongoing all over the world. These volunteers want people to realize that these types of illnesses are better prevented than cured. Information and awareness play important roles for the success of this battle against AIDS.