HIV and AIDS Essay

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AIDS is a condition brought about by HIV. It results during the advanced stages of an HIV infection when an individual's immune system becomes so weak it can't fend off infections from the body. The body becomes a target of various infections which if left untreated can lead to death of the infected person. No cure has been found to cure AIDS. Nonetheless, with good support and treatment, an infected person can live with HIV for a long time. For a healthy long life after infection, the right treatment should be taken correctly and side effects of treatment addressed promptly.



Basic Facts about AIDS



AIDS is an acronym for acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The syndrome can also be referred to as late-stage HIV or advanced HIV infection. Someone suffering from AIDS may contract several conditions like thrush, TB, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis and pneumonia. An individual's risk of developing some chronic conditions like cancer also increases.



CD4 count is the number of T-helper cells found per cubic milliliter of blood. A CD4 count of less than 200 cells for every milliliter shows that an individual has AIDS. The HIV virus attacks the host's immune system gradually. On infection with HIV, the body finds it hard to protect the body from infections since HIV destroys white blood cells and replicates itself inside the T-helper white blood cells. T-helper cells are known also as CD4 cells. HIV exists in several strains. Infected individuals do not therefore carry the same HIV strain. These strains are further grouped into subtypes. The two main subtypes are HIV-1 and HIV- 2. HIV-1 is the most common strain worldwide while HIV-2 is mostly found in Western Africa and in some cases Europe and India (Avert, 2016).




Historical Facts and Policies, and Discuss Your Topic's Evolution and Current Status



Historical Facts



The World Health Organization's (WHO) Exit Disclaimer projects that an approximate 36.9 million people the world over had HIV / AIDS as at December of 2014. 2.6 million of these people were children below the age of 15. WHO Exit Disclaimer estimates that 2 million individuals became infected in 2014. Included in this figure are 220,000 children below age 15. Majority of the children are in sub-Saharan Africa and got the infection during breastfeeding, childbirth or pregnancy from their infected mothers. Of the 36.9 million infected individuals living with the virus, 17.1 million of them are not aware that they are infected and should be reached with services for testing, says a UNAIDS report. 22 million infected individuals lack access to treatment. Of the 22 million who lack access to treatment, 1.8 million are children. Most of the individuals living with HIV reside in low to middle income economies. Nearly 70% of new HIV infections happen in sub-Saharan Africa. WHO estimates that 34 million people have succumbed to HIV / AIDS-related issues until 2014. Poorer countries have seen an increase in the number of individuals getting treatment for HIV over the past ten years. The UNAIDS Exit Disclaimer points to 15.8 million infected people having access to antiretroviral therapy in June 2015 worldwide, an increase from 13.6 million the previous June. There has also been progress in the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmissions and preventing death of mothers. To ensure that they did not pass HIV to their children and to better their health, approximately 1.5 million expectant women with HIV worldwide were.....

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References


AIDS.gov. (2015, November 25). The Global HIV / AIDS Epidemic. Retrieved from U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: https://www.aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/global-statistics/

Avert. (2016, February 9). What Are Hiv And Aids? Retrieved from AVERT: http://www.avert.org/about-hiv-aids/what-hiv-aids

CDC. (2015). Prevalence of Diagnosed and Undiagnosed HIV Infection -- United States, 2008 -- 2012. MMWR, 64, pp. 657-662.

Milne, T. L., & Brown, C. K. (2002). State and Local Health Departments. The Gale Group Inc.
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