AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

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HIV and Aids affect more than roughly thirty million people worldwide. Race, sex and age have nothing to do with who can get this disease, however, the race with the highest number of infected people happens to be Caucasian males ages 25-44. About forty-five percent of the 641,000 AIDS cases in the U.S. have been white people. Blacks aren’t far behind with over 35 percent of cases, and Hispanics have about 20 percent of all cases. Asians have less than anyone does, with 1 percent. Of the estimated 30.6 million people worldwide living with this horrible, life-threatening disease in 1997, about 68 percent were living in sub-Saharan Africa. 22 percent of all cases were in Southern and Eastern Asia and the Pacific, 4 percent in Latin America, 5 Percent in North America and the Caribbean, and 2 percent in Europe and Central Asia. In 1994 and 1995 AIDS was the leading cause of death among Americans ages 25-44 years old. It was also the leading cause of death for men in the same age group and the third leading cause of death in women 25-44. Adult males are the leading sex to contract AIDS. They account for over 80 percent of all cases in the U.S. Adult women make up 15 percent and children make up the other 1- percent of the cases. (Encarta 99) People have been lead to believe so many fictional stories about the ways of contracting AIDS and HIV; it’s hard to know what to believe. The truth is, the main way of getting this disease is unprotected sex. Although condoms do work most of the time, they are not 100% effective. Abstinence is the only foolproof way of not being infected with this disease or one of the thousands of others. Besides sexual contact with a person carrying the AIDS virus or HIV, you can also be infected in many different ways. For example, although no one has actually contracts AIDS from contact with these things, HIV has been found in sweat, saliva and tears. People who are unsure about the AIDS status of their partner should actually be weary of kissing them. There has not yet been a case attributed to kissing, however, there is still a potential for contraction. For awhile now there have been rumors of transmission by insects that suck blood and bite humans.

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Studies have shown no evidence of this, but the rumors are still claiming it could happen. Scientists and researchers have preformed experiments after experiments because of the overwhelming concern. They all have proved there is no cause to fear insects such as mosquitoes, because in HIV carriers don’t have constant high levels of HIV in their bloodstream. Another reason is that an insect mouth parts don’t hold large enough amounts of blood to transmit the disease.

Bibliography
Encarta 1999


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