HIV (HumanImmunodeficiency Virus)- a virus that attacks the human immune system and causes AIDS.AIDS (AcquiredImmuneDeficiencySyndrome)- an illness that is caused by HIV infection and that makes an infected person more likely to get unusual forms of cancer and infection because HIV attacks the body’s immune system
Once a person is affected with HIV, the virus stays in a persons body for a long period of time before any symptoms appear. The majority of people infected by HIV develop AIDS and die. Since the first four cases of AIDS were reported in California in 1981, there are now hundreds of millions of cases all over the world. In some parts of Africa, as many as one in every four people are infected with HIV.
Where did HIV come from? Most scientists believe that HIV came from central Africa where the African green monkey lives. These monkey’s have been known to be infected with SIV. It is thought that some SIV particles changed slightly to become HIV. And somehow contaminated the blood of a hunter while slaughtering a monkey for food. It wasn’t until 1981 that the first cases of AIDS began to appear outside of Africa. HIV/AIDS is now a global problem.
HIV spreads through… Sexual Contact- The most common way that HIV is spread from person to person. Sharing Hypodermic Needles- When needles are used to inject drugs, blood can remain on the needle and passed to the next user. Blood Transfusion- This form of transmission is now rare in the U.S. Mother To Child
AIDS effects on the body… HIV attacks the immune system, so it destroys the body’s ability to fight infections. The lifespan is usually shortened. Often sufferers get an opportunistic infection. Others get some form of cancer, such as lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes) or sarcoma (cancer of the skin).
Treatment for HIV/AIDS… The only treatment for AIDS is a combination of several drugs and it is called combination therapy. These drugs slow the reproduction of the HIV virus and lengthens the incubation period of HIV. A second type of treatment is usually needed for AIDS patients who suffer from opportunistic infection require different kinds of treatments. But these treatments only delay the progress of the disease, and most patients die from AIDS.
HIV/AIDS Prevention… A stands for "abstinence" (not having sex of any kind). Abstaining from sexual activities, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex, is the surest way to avoid HIV. B is for "be faithful." Being in a sexual relationship with only one partner who is also faithful to you can help protect you. This limits your number of sexual partners and the possibility of infection.
More Prevention… Don’t Share Needles! Know that not all types of birth control will protect you from HIV! Stay Abstinent! Abstinence is the only way to know for sure that you will not get HIV/AIDS.
This Info is Important because… People in every country of the world are affected by AIDS. HIV/AIDS is becoming more of a global crisis every day. At present, 40 million adults and children are living with HIV/AIDS, and at least 10.4 million children currently under the age of 15 have lost their mother or both parents to AIDS. The disease increasingly affects young people. Of the 5 million new infections in 2001, approximately half are among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Young women are especially vulnerable. An estimated 11.8 million young people are living with HIV/AIDS – 7.3 million young women and 4.5 million young men. AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). HIV damages the body's defenses against other diseases. Medication can help people with HIV/AIDS live longer, but the disease so far has no vaccine or cure. Prevention is the most effective strategy against the spread of HIV/AIDS. Every person in every country should know how to avoid getting and spreading the disease. Condoms can save lives by preventing the sexual transmission of HIV. Access to testing and counseling must be given high priority in every country. Everyone has the right to voluntary and confidential counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS and the right to be protected from discrimination of any kind related to her or his HIV/AIDS status. For those living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, care and compassion are needed. Measures should be taken to remove the social, cultural and political barriers that might block access to HIV/AIDS services and programs.
A Campaign You Can Join… The ONE Campaign (one.org) ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Third Day (Shown left) are proud to be a part of the ONE Campaign. They have visited many harsh areas effected by AIDS. They never leave a place like it without shedding a few tears. (Left to Right: David Carr, Mac Powell, Mark Lee, Tai Anderson)
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