AIDS

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To talk about AIDS today, one has also to talk about sexuality. Nowadays AIDS is largely related to sexual activities since AIDS is a consequence of the virus HIV, which can be transmitted during sexual relations. The movie that we saw, Philadelphia, deals with this. It tells the story of a homosexual man who contracted HIV during sexual intercourse with another man. After some years he starts to suffer from AIDS and the discrimination that came along with it. He was a successful lawyer, and was fired only because he had AIDS.
What is AIDS? AIDS is a stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a disease caused by the HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) virus. An HIV-infected person receives a diagnosis of AIDS after developing one of the CDC-defined AIDS indicator illnesses. An HIV-positive person who has not had any serious illnesses also can receive an AIDS diagnosis on the basis of certain blood tests. A positive HIV test result does not mean that a person has AIDS. A person may carry the virus inside his body for as long as 10 years (or more) without showing an illnesses caused by AIDS. Infection with HIV can weaken the immune system to the point that it has difficulty fighting off certain infections. These types of infections are known as "opportunistic" infections because they take the opportunity a weakened immune system gives to cause illness. Many of the infections that cause problems or may be life-threatening for people with AIDS are usually controlled by a healthy immune system. The immune system of a person with AIDS is weakened to the point that medical intervention may be necessary to prevent or treat serious illness. Today there are medical treatments that can slow down the rate at which HIV weakens the immune system. There are other treatments that can prevent or cure some of the illnesses associated with AIDS. As with other diseases, early detection offers more options for treatment and preventative care.
HIV is spread by sexual contact with an infected person, by sharing needles and/or syringes (drug injection) with someone who is infected, or, less commonly, through transfusions of infected blood or blood clotting factors. Babies born to HIV-infected women may become infected before or during birth or through breast-feeding after birth. There are a couple of myths about how the HIV is transmitted. Some people fear that HIV might be transmitted in other ways; however, no scientific evidence to support any of these fears has been found.

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