AIDS Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome ( AIDS or Aids ) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the specific damage to the immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in humans. Beware of strong language- and image-material
HIV/AIDS is one of a number of killer diseases, such as, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer and heart disease. What is different about HIV/AIDS is that it impacts not only the physical health of individuals, but also their social identity and condition. The stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS can be as destructive as the disease itself.
<ul><li>The Red ribbon is a symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS. </li></ul>The Red ribbon is a symbol for solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS.
The late stage of the condition leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors. Although treatments for AIDS and HIV exist to decelerate the virus' progression, there is currently no known cure. HIV are transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk. This transmission can come in the form of anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.
<ul><li>French anti-AIDS agency AIDES has launched a new campaign. This one features hot young men and women having sex with bugs. </li></ul>
Most researchers believe that HIV originated in sub-Saharan Africa during the twentieth century; it is now a pandemic, with an estimated 38.6 million people now living with the disease worldwide. As of January 2006, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that AIDS has killed more than 25 million people since it was first recognized on June 5, 1981, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history.
In 2005 alone, AIDS claimed an estimated 2.4–3.3 million lives , of which more than 570,000 were children . A third of these deaths are occurring in sub-Saharan Africa , retarding economic growth and destroying human capital. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the mortality and the morbidity of HIV infection , but routine access to antiretroviral medication is not available in all countries. HIV/AIDS stigma is more severe than that associated with other life-threatening conditions and extends beyond the disease itself to providers and even volunteers involved with the care of people living with HIV .
Scanning electron micrograph of HIV-1 budding from cultured lymphocyte.
WHO disease staging system for HIV infection and disease Stage I: HIV infection is asymptomatic and not categorized as AIDS Stage II: includes minor mucocutaneous manifestations and recurrent upper respiratory tract infections Stage III: includes unexplained chronic diarrhea for longer than a month, severe bacterial infections and pulmonary tuberculosis Stage IV: includes toxoplasmosis of the brain, candidacies of the esophagus, trachea, bronchi or lungs and Kaposi's sarcoma; these diseases are indicators of AIDS.
Many people are unaware that they are infected with HIV . Less than 1% of the sexually active urban population in Africa has been tested, and this proportion is even lower in rural populations. Furthermore, only 0.5% of pregnant women attending urban health facilities are counseled, tested or receive their test results. Again, this proportion is even lower in rural health facilities. Therefore, donor blood and blood products used in medicine and medical research are screened for HIV.
The symptoms of AIDS are primarily the result of conditions that do not normally develop in individuals with healthy immune systems. Most of these conditions are infections caused by bacteria, viruses , fungi and parasites that are normally controlled by the elements of the immune system that HIV damages . Opportunistic infections are common in people with AIDS. HIV affects nearly every organ system. People with AIDS also have an increased risk of developing various cancers such as Kaposi's sarcoma, cervical cancer and cancers of the immune system known as lymphomas.
1 december World AIDS Day is a day when people from around the world come together within a single effort.
Lack of recognition of human rights not only causes unnecessary personal suffering and loss of dignity for people living with HIV or AIDS but it also contributes directly to the spread of the epidemic since it hinders the response… For example, when human rights are not respected, people are less likely to seek counselling, testing, treatment and support because it means facing discrimination, lack of confidentiality or other negative consequences. It also appears that the spread of HIV/AIDS is disproportionately high among groups that already suffer from a lack of human rights protection, and from social and economic discrimination, or that are marginalised by their legal status.
Since the HIV/AIDS epidemic began, over 60 million people have been infected with HIV and more than 20 million have died of AIDS. Despite wide-ranging interventions to curtail its further spread and to mitigate the impact of its effects, there are around 16 000 new infections each day and at the crux of the epidemic are young people, accounting for over 50 % of this daily toll. That is why young people are, and must be, at the centre of action on HIV/AIDS.
Those most likely to hold misconceptions about HIV transmission and to harbor HIV/AIDS stigma are less educated people and people with high levels of religiosity or conservative political ideology.
HIV/AIDS resources 2006 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic by UNAIDS MEDSCAPE.com An extensive site dedicated to everything medical related with an impressive HIV/AIDS section. PlusNews HIV/AIDS news and analysis from Africa, Asia and the Middle East; one of the largest producers of original HIV/AIDS reporting. POZ.com Comprehensive resource for the HIV/AIDS community, including all 12 years of POZ Magazine archives. AEGiS.org AIDS Education Global Information System HIV Medicine 2006 Free medical textbook updated annually. Eldis HIV and AIDS — latest research and other resources on HIV and AIDS in developing countries HIV/AIDS glossary from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services AIDSmeds.com : Comprehensive lessons on HIV/AIDS and their treatments The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource AIDS facts and news from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases HIV and AIDS from New Scientist The National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention — A Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention AIDS Community Research Initiative of America — Community-based research and education for people living with HIV. Cambridge University Pathology Review of HIV and AIDS pathogenesis, progression, spread, prophylaxis and therapy. Resources for HIV/AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health Integration Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for Communication Programs AIDS.gov Information gateway to all Federal domestic HIV/AIDS information and resources. PowerPoint created by Mikael Persson