Essay on Arthur Ashe

Essay on Arthur Ashe

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Arthur Ashe is an admirable and well known American tennis player who won many championships. He became the first African American male to win the men’s Wimbledon title in 1975. Also, he was on the United States Davis Cup team from 1963 until 1984. Some of his other major accomplishments include helping to form what is now the Association of Tennis Professionals and winning the Australian Open, the United States Open, and the French Open. Ashe lived a wonderful and successful life: however, in 1983, disaster struck! Ashe acquired an incurable disease through a tainted blood transfusion.

This disease killed him in 1993. What is this incurable disease that still haunts the lives of so many people? This is a disease known as AIDS. AIDS is a fatal disease without a cure and a disease that responds to little treatment. How can the spread of AIDS be stopped?

This paper will discuss the nature of the AIDS virus, the transmission and the prevention of transmission, as well as the available treatments for people with this disease. First of all, AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is acquired which means that it is not passed down from generation to generation through a person’s genes. AIDS is a disease that attacks the immune system, a system in the body that produces white blood cells in order to fight off diseases. This disease causes the immune system to be deficient, or weakened, so that it cannot properly fight off diseases.

AIDS is a syndrome, or a group of illnesses with many possible symptoms that can occur together in a weakened condition. AIDS is a pandemic, meaning that it can be found on all continents. The disease was discovered in 1983, by a French cancer specialist, Luc Montagnier, along with other scientists, at the Pasteur Institute in Paris. However, there were AIDS cases reported as early as the 1950’s. "The 80s will go down as the decade that AIDS began. We want to know, - Why" (Bevan 27)?

One of the reasons is the promiscuity of sexually active people during the 1980s and the sharing of intravenous hypodermic needles and syringes by drug users.Secondly, AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV. This virus attacks the antibodies in a person’s immune system, thereby disabling that system. HIV works in an unusual way because it uses the immune system to its advantage. Viruses cannot l...


... middle of paper ...


...e before its toxicity and side effects are fully understood" (Stine 337). However, many people with AIDS are willing to take this risk with the hope that the drug may prove effective.

In conclusion, AIDS is an incurable disease with few treatments, caused by HIV, transmitted by way of bodily fluids. AIDS is mainly transmitted through sex and sexual activities, and by sharing hypodermic drug needles. Sexual transmission is most dangerous if there are many sexual partners, and if there is not use of a condom. Transmission via blood transfusions has become almost absent, thanks to blood screenings. Scientists are working hard on treatments and are working for a cure, however, it is lacking to be found.

A World Health Organization official says, "AIDS...will test our fundamental values and measure the moral strength of our cultures" (Bevan 6). We are the only ones who can stop this pandemic. There is a way. "Curable?

No. Treatable? To a limited extent. Preventable?

By a vaccine, no - but by changing our behavior, yes. This is how we must fight AIDS. ... Prevention is better than cure. And when there’s no cure, prevention is all we have" (Bevan 46, 56).

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