Hiv / Aids Does Not Discriminate

1586 Words7 Pages
HIV/AIDS does not discriminate. This deadly virus infiltrates any and all available immune systems and wreaks havoc on the host, exposing its victim to not only the inevitable health risks, disease and destruction of the immune system, but also to potential discrimination and other social hardships. The notorious HIV virus infects people of all genders, sexual orientations, geographical areas, and ages. In 2014, of the estimated 37 million people around the world living with HIV, 2.6 million of those individuals were under the age of 15. Pediatric infection rates continue to rise, though this community and at-risk communities that may contribute to pediatric infection, largely pregnant women, do not receive an equal expansion of care, coverage, or awareness. According to UNAIDS, 600 new children are infected with HIV every day. Pediatric HIV/AIDS is especially prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 88% of the 2.6 million children living with HIV around the world reside. Each day, the number of children who will begin a battle against a lifelong disease increases and the need for adequate care and education rises along with it. Worldwide, three percent of all deaths of children younger than five years old are attributed to HIV/AIDS. Infection rates, treatment methods, and general social acceptances and response vary in differing regions of the world and throughout different cultures. HIV’s versatility and ability to rapidly adapt allow it to infect a wide variety of potential hosts, which contributes to its expansion, escalation, and infection of people all around the world. Children, who are generally more at risk for all types of infection due to their recently developed and inexperienced immune systems, are no exception. The HI... ... middle of paper ... ...ribute to the higher rates of HIV/AIDS as a whole in developing nations, but in particular, the shockingly high prevalence of pediatric cases of HIV/AIDS, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. Once a child contracts the HIV virus, it begins to immediately compromise the already weak, young immune system. Because the immune system of a child is continuing to develop, it does not respond as effectively and quickly as an adult, or mature, immune system would. Regardless of the timing of HIV transmission, whether a child contracts the virus in utero, during the birthing process, as a result of breastfeeding, or later in childhood due to other factors, they will not grow and develop as a normal HIV negative child will. Children with HIV often struggle to grow normally and may have difficulties developmentally as well, such as behavioral abnormalities or learning impairments.
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