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Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Definition

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome also termed as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a compilation infections and symptoms that result from a specific damage to an individual's immune system. This is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (or HIV) and other similar viruses such as SIV or FIV. The late phase of HIV and AIDS exist to slow down the viral progression. Currently, there is still no cure for this illness. AIDS can be transmitted through direct contacts of the bloodstream or of a mucous membrane with any of the body fluids such as semen, blood, vaginal fluid, breast milk, or preseminal fluid. The modes of transmission could be sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, oral sex, anal sex, or a contact with hypodermic needles that are contaminated with the virus. Another unfortunate means of getting the virus is the exchange of fluids between the baby and its mother during pregnancy.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Frequency

As of the month of January in 2006, the estimated records of AIDS victims who have died have reached an alarming 25 million individuals. This is only since its recognition in June 1981. It is one of the most deadly epidemics ever recorded in history. The year 2005 alone records an estimate of 2.4 to 3.3 million deaths of which 570,000 are children. One-third of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa which continuously affects the growth of their economy.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HIV Stages of Infection

In the year 2005, WHO or the World Health Organization has grouped the conditions and infections by the introduction of a staging scheme for affected individuals. The stages are: Stage 1 is an asymptomatic HIV infection and it is still not classified as AIDS; Stage 2 is inclusive of slight mucocutaneous signs and upper respiratory tract infections that are recurring; Stage 3 often has chronic diarrhea (which lasts longer than a month), acute pulmonary tuberculosis and bacterial infections; Stage 4 is inclusive of esophageal candidiasis, toxoplasmosis of the brain, Kaposiís sarcoma, or bronchitis.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Misconceptions on HIV and AIDS

There are a few misconceptions that surround HIV and AIDS. The most common are casual contact can spread the virus; having sexual contact with a virgin would heal AIDS; and the idea that HIV can only infect drug users or gay men.

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Treatment

Antiretroviral treatments reduce the morbidity and the mortality of the HIV virus. The sad thing is, not all countries have access to antiretroviral medications.

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