HIV Remains an Epidemic Despite the Awareness

The world was thrown into panic 34 years ago after Luc Montagnier and Robert Gallo discovered a new virus strain that ended the innocence of youth altogether. The lentiviral family member was discovered to attack the human immune system shutting it down almost to a complete halt. This led to a rise of infections that brought down the victim fast and easy. The virus came to be known as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). This developed to an Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome that caused a major hysteria. Major organizations and nationwide based units have since dedicated vast amounts of resources to deal with the epidemic. Scientific journals, Awareness campaigns and ways to increase the human lifespan in the glaring reality of the disease have also been largely invested in.

AIDS attacks T-helper cells also known as the CD4 cells. The immune system cells degrade and diminish in number unable to fight any external damage. The body then succumbs to the pressure and gives in with time.

A lot still needs to be done to control the disease despite the major awareness campaigns running all over the world. Over 5% of Sub-Saharan Africa is living with the virus. Over 1.7 Billion dollars are dedicated by the local governments all over Africa to deal with the devastating effects of the condition. The only possibility left is the use of Antiretroviral to boost the immune system and help the body fight against common ailments that would otherwise be dealt with by the immune system. The drugs are a mix of steroids and pro-tease inhibitors. The bodies, however, keep piling.

AIDS is an advanced stage of HIV that can take 2 to 15 years to develop depending on how one handles their diet and drug intake during the period. There are people that have lived for years with HIV epidemic going about normal activities. It is said that more than 34 million people in the world are living with the virus. It is also estimated that more than 39 million have died from the disease all over the world. 70% of the infections are recorded in Africa while 12% are in Central, South America, and Mexico. 17% of the entire infected population do not know that they are living with the virus. This enhances the rapid spread.

Knowing the causes and how to prevent the condition is crucial. Knowledge on how to handle the virus after infection is also critical. HIV is contracted majorly through sexual intercourse with an infected partner. This is at least one of the fastest ways that the disease has spread all over the world. The virus is transferred through the exchange of body fluids be it saliva, blood, semen and any other excretions from an infected person to a healthy one.

The most affected individuals are bisexual and gay males from African and Hispanic communities. Pregnant women also risk passing the virus to their babies. It is estimated that over 220,000 children have been infected since 2014.

Major campaigns have been launched to create awareness on the effects and the need to get tested especially when sexually active. Responsible sexual behavior will keep one safe. The use of protective methods has also been advocated. It is estimated that the disease has reduced by 35% all over the world with the execution of these campaigns. Antiretroviral drugs have also been used to delay the progressive effect of the virus into full-blown AIDS.



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