AIDS


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     HIV and/or AIDS is a life threatening disease that is affecting society
today. It is a serious epidemic that is threatening millions of lives around
the world. A person can become HIV infected thorough the sharing syringes or
through vaginal or anal sex, one does not become infected from the air as some
might think. It is infected through the blood. Testing positive for human
immunodefiency virus or HIV, means that you carry the antibodies, you can be HIV
infected and not have AIDS, AIDS occurs in later stage of infection. A person
is infectious through all stages, although studies have shown that a person is
most infectious during the early stage of detection and in the final stage of
AIDS, during the midcourse of the infection they are less infectious. There
are several things that one can do to prevent becoming HIV positive. One items
is that you can practice abstinence, or on a more realistic view, one should be
monogamous and always use condoms. It has been researched that the use of
condoms lowers the risk of becoming HIV infected by 90%. Although this
protection is not 100% it is the only way that actually helps prevent you from
getting the virus. I think that society should make condoms more accessible to
young people, I believe they should have condom machines in girl and guys school
bathrooms. I also feel that they should be distributed in school social events
such as dances or proms, when it is most likely that they will be having sex.
Giving youth condoms is not encouraging sex, in my opinion yet it is educated
them that they must protect themselves not only from unwanted pregnancies or
venereal disease but from death, and from future spread of this epidemic.
Studies shown that 50% of infected people are youths between the ages of 15 to
24 years of age. (Public Health Reports Jul. 1995, v110n4, p462-466. If this is
the stage that statistics is showing that are most k]likely to contract the
virus than why not do everything possible to help prevent it.

Another study that I believe has brought results in the needle exchange
program, In which drug users go and exchange their dirty needles for clean ones
in order to prevent becoming or getting someone infected. "There are increasing
data showing that those who regularly exchange their syringes in such programs
benefit by lowering their risk of HIV acquisition". Khoshnood, Haven Public
Health Reports Jul 1995, v110n4, p 462-466.

I believe that AIDS education should be mandated in al states. As I

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stated before, if we are going to control this virus we need to educate from the
start, if 11 years olds are having sex then they can spread the virus, them we
need to teach them about AIDS and what to do to protect themselves. Whether we
like it or not, or whether it is right or wrong, children are having sex and
they need to be educated. Yes, we should teach them not to have sex, but those
who still prefer to have sex need to be taught the precautions and how to
protect themselves. "We could make a real difference and slow the spread of HIV
of we learn to be open and frank with young people" says Dr.Merson " The
widespread introduction of well-planned sex education will go far to protect our
children from the risk if HIV infection now.." Women International Network
winter 1994, v20n1, p 19. Homosexuality also need to be taught to young people
and the dangers and risk of having sex.

"Most people diagnosed with the life threatening illness may feel that
their lives reeling out of control-spinning faster and faster as loss surmounts
loss, panic overtakes reason, chaos defeats order" (Reed, Brian. HIV, AIDS and
the Law, Lambda book report Jul 1996, v5n1, p37-38) I believe this is true yet,
I think that as each year goes by the outlook for people who have contracted HIV
is brighter. Each year more studies have been made and each time a little step
closer to a cure. Although there is still not a cure and we may still be far
from finding one, I think that there is hope and people who have contracted HIV
should think positive so that their spirit remain high. They have found drugs
like protease inhibitors which in clinical trials ion human, have reduces the
virus in the bloodstream by as much as 99%. (Pitta, Jule Home Edition, Los
Angeles Times, 1-15-95, pB-8) Also, the FDA is making experimental drugs
available to individuals who are suffering from life threatening disease and I b
elieve that it is excellent. If drugs are needed to be tested why not test and
let human people with the virus use these drugs rather than animals. (Chaggiano,
Christopher, First treatment approved for sever PCP.. Vol 28, FDA Consumer,
301094 pg. 7).

I believe that mandatory testing of Health Care workers should be dome,
yet it violates their right to privacy and self-determination and can not be
justifies by claims concerning public welfare or epidemic control. It wasted
resources it creates false impressions about patient exposure proneness from
surgical procedures, it discriminated against surgeons and other health care
personnel, and it create d unnecessary administrative and liability headaches
for physicians and hospitals, In short it is unethical. (Bradtson, Keith, Vol.
19, Second Opinion, 1-1-94 P 26)

Altogether AIDS needs to be controlled. Whether it is educating our
youth or testing healthcare workers. It needs to be controlled. So, until there
is a cure. We must go to all extremes in preventing this virus from spreading
much more that it already has. If you could spread it then you need to be
tested, educated , isolated and treated. We must do all that it takes to prevent
someone else from being infected.


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