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The AIDS and HIV virus is a very dangerous disease that sees no race, no color, no gender, no economic background and not even a specific age group. It can affect anyone, at any time if they put themselves in a situation where they could be at risk. AIDS stands for what is called acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. The virus causes the body's immune system to break down and become useless in fighting illness and bacteria. Even a common cold could lead to the death of a person affected with the AIDS virus.
Contrary to popular belief, a person does not just become affected with the AIDS virus right away. AIDS is actually caused by a pre virus called HIV, or human immunodeficiency syndrome. The antibodies, substance in your body that fights infection, in a person become infected once HIV is transferred into a human. Blood tests are often used to detect this virus. A person that is affected with the HIV virus may look perfectly healthy and show no signs what so ever of this illness. It is very easy for a person affected with this virus to spread it to others through certain types of contact. Because HIV weakens your immune system, it is very easy for a person to become ill. They suffer many health problems. Some of these problems can include extreme weight loss, severe pneumonia, forms of cancer, and damage to the nervous system. These illnesses signal the onset of AIDS (AIDS prevention guide). If a person is receiving medical care, it is likely that a person will be able to prolong his or her life even after being affected with the HIV virus. In some cases, affected people have stayed healthy and showed no signs of the virus for ten or more years.
There are two main ways that the HIV virus is spread from person to person. The first way that will be discussed is by sexual intercourse, whether vaginally, anally or orally, with an affected partner. It is usually spread through unprotected sexual intercourse. Even if you are using a condom, it can still be spread if the condom just so happens to break. The HIV virus is present in a person's blood, semen and vaginal fluids. It can be entered into another persons body through small cuts or sores that a person may not even know is there if they come in contact with an affected persons blood, semen or vaginal fluids.
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The second main way to become infected with this virus is through the sharing or needles or syringes. Usually, a drug abuser uses the needles to inject themselves with the drug and then passes the needle onto another person to inject him or herself with a drug. Sometimes the blood from an affected person will stay on the needle, and when another person uses it, they will become directly affected with the virus. Another way, somewhat less common, is through the use of needles used to do piercings and tattoos. The best way to prevent the transfer of the virus in this case is to make sure the person is very qualified and uses sterile equipment. Ask questions if you feel you need to.
Yet another method of transfer is from a mother to her baby. An affected woman who is pregnant can pass the virus on to the child during her pregnancy or even during the birth of the child, or even through breast-feeding. Statistics show that an affected woman has a one in four chance that her child will be born with the virus as well. Affected woman should not become pregnant and risk putting her child in danger as well.
A little less common way to transfer the HIV virus is through blood transfusions. In the past, it was actually somewhat easy for it to be transferred through this method. However, since 1985, all donated blood has been checked for the virus to make sure it is not spread in this manner. Currently in the United States, there is almost no chance of infection with HIV through a blood transfusion (AIDS prevention guide). The needles that are used at blood banks and at doctor's offices are by no means a way that you can become infected with the virus. Once they are used, they are disposed of and destroyed.
When the hysteria of AIDS first came into view, it was thought to be only a homosexual disease. However, we now know that is untrue. Anyone can become infected with HIV if they put themselves in a situation where it is possible. More people need to become aware of this disease and learn more about it. Many are afraid to even shake a person's hand that is infected with HIV or AIDS. Truth is, you are not going to get it from shaking someone's hand. Nor will you get it from toilet seats, mosquito's, tears or even a kiss. More people need to become aware of the facts of AIDS and HIV in order to help prevent the spread of this horrible virus. We have found no cure for this virus. As of now, once a person is infected with HIV or AIDS, we know his or her fate. It is a sad thing and a sad horrible way to die, but there are ways of preventing the spread and transfer of this virus. It is said, sadly, that approximately one out of every 250 people is infected with the virus. Hopefully, those number do not continue to rise, but better yet, the begin to fall.