Understanding HIV and AIDS

Understanding HIV and AIDS

Length: 1020 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

HIV/AIDS is an epidemic that effects both men and women of all ages. It has an impact on many people's lives either by themselves being infected, knowing someone who is infected, or being a health care worker.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. It also effects the blood cells (lymphocytes) and cells of the organs (bone marrow, spleen, liver, and lymph glands). It effects the lungs, central nervous system and gastrointestinal system.
People begin with having the HIV virus. An HIV infected person is likely to stay fit and well for a long time. In time, however the infected person develops rare illnesses or cancers because their immune system is weakened. When this happens, the person now has AIDS. Some people live for several years once they have AIDS, but it is always fatal.
HIV is diagnosed with a blood test known as an HIV antibody test or HIV test. If the test shows that HIV is present, the person is referred to as HIV positive. It may take up to 6 months after contact to show up.
The number of women with HIV and AIDS in the United States is steadily rising. From 1985 to 1996, the proportion of reported US AIDS cases occurring among women increased from 7-20% (Women and AIDS). An analysis from the National Cancer Institute estimates that between 107,000 and 150,000 women on the U.S. are living with HIV infection (many of whom have not developed AIDS (Women and AIDS)
AIDS presents a great worry for women. It is the third leading cause of death among women ages 25 to 44 and the leading cause of death among African-American women of the same age group. (Women and AIDS)
Although AIDS cases are reported in all 50 states, the highest rates in 1996 were in New York, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland and Delaware (Women and AIDS)
HIV may not produce any initial symptoms. However, as this disease progresses, symptoms begin to appear. Among them are: fatigue, unexplained weight loss, night sweats, fever, diarrhea, recurrent respiratory and skin infections, swollen lymph glands throughout the body, genital changes, enlarged spleen and mouth sores. Vaginal yeast infections, common and easily treated in most women, are harder to treat in HIV infected women. Bacterial vaginosis and common STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia trichomoniasis, and pelvic inflammatory disease are more common and aggressive in HIV-infected women.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Understanding HIV and AIDS." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Understanding HIV and AIDS

- HIV/ AIDS HIV/AIDS is an epidemic that effects both men and women of all ages. It has an impact on many people's lives either by themselves being infected, knowing someone who is infected, or being a health care worker. HIV is a virus that attacks the body's immune system. It also effects the blood cells (lymphocytes) and cells of the organs (bone marrow, spleen, liver, and lymph glands). It effects the lungs, central nervous system and gastrointestinal system. People begin with having the HIV virus....   [tags: health, virus, medicine]

Free Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Dr. Helene Gayle 's Effect On The Public 's Understanding Of Aids Essay

- The public is often sympathetic towards those individuals who are aggrieved by a serious illness. This is demonstrated by the extensive organizational and individual efforts that have been made to raise funds for cancer research and to administer aid to those individuals battling this dreadful disease. Alternatively, AIDS victims generally do not receive the same level of widespread support and compassion. There has been a perpetual sense of shame attached to AIDS and there are members of society who judge AIDS suffers to be sexual deviants and squarely blame them for their predicament....   [tags: AIDS, HIV, Sexual intercourse, Antiretroviral drug]

Research Papers
864 words (2.5 pages)

The Health Problem Of Hiv / Aids Essay

- A health problem is a state in which a person is unable to function normally without pain, it can also be known as ill health or unhealthiness. Nigeria is a developing country whose health sector is severely lacking. Nigeria has a lot of health problems but some of the major health problems are Malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. However, the health problem which will be discuss is HIV/AIDS. HIV which is human immune deficiency virus which attacks the body immune system therefore interfering the body ability to fight off other virus bacteria or pathogens while AIDS which is Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, this is the chronic and more life threatening form of the viral infection....   [tags: AIDS, Immune system, HIV, Antiretroviral drug]

Research Papers
860 words (2.5 pages)

The Stigma Of Hiv And Aids Essay

- Living as a gay men in the twenty first century is an absolute blessing. I am able to comfortably be myself, love who I want, and live to my full potential without any backlash. While I could sit here and discuss all the positive, there is key issues in the LGBT community and the world. The world and key ‘at risk groups’ like mine are battling the fight of HIV and AIDS. This disease has not only impacted specific groups of people, but has spread to where anyone can get it by failing to take proper steps to prevent such a fatal and devastating disease....   [tags: AIDS, HIV, Immune system, Antiretroviral drug]

Research Papers
986 words (2.8 pages)

Essay about The Psychological Impact Of Hiv And Aids On Adolescents

- Adolescents are often overlooked in terms of needing specific fostered treatment for HIV and AIDS. This age group is seemingly misunderstood, as they are too old to be considered children, yet too young to be considered adults. Because of their differences, it is pivotal that adolescents receive focused care, as this age group generally faces unique vulnerabilities while adopting new social roles, which can be further heightened for those living with the infection. Concentrating on the psychological impact of HIV and AIDS on adolescents, this population is at greater risk of psychiatric hospital admissions for depression and behavior problems....   [tags: HIV, AIDS, Adolescence, Tuberculosis]

Research Papers
812 words (2.3 pages)

Hiv / Aids Affecting The Global Population Essay

- HIV/AIDS Affecting the Global Population All around the world people are united not only by cultural traits, practices, politics, and beliefs, but also by diseases that we all share amongst us as a human race. Different pandemics have scarred the lives of people and some are even incurable. Human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV/AIDS, has been a pandemic that affects the global population for nearly a century. It affects people of all ages from unborn children to seniors and is something that has no cure as of today....   [tags: AIDS, HIV, Immune system, Sexual intercourse]

Research Papers
2025 words (5.8 pages)

Essay on Hiv And Aids : Aids

- HIV/AIDS is one of the deadliest diseases in the world today. HIV is a virus that weakens the immune system, making us prone to many infections. It can be transmitted in various ways; for example, by coming in contact with bodily fluids by unprotected sex, reusing needles when doing drugs or getting tattooed, being born to an HIV infected mother, etc. Millions of people are getting infected by HIV around the world. According to World Health Organization, “[. . .] In 2014, 1.2 [1.0–1.5] million people died from HIV-related causes globally [and] there were approximately 36.9 [34.3–41.4] million people living with HIV at the end of 2014 with 2.0 [1.9–2.2] million people becoming newly infected...   [tags: AIDS, HIV, Immune system, Safe sex]

Research Papers
1576 words (4.5 pages)

All About HIV and AIDS Essays

- AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome); HIV is the etiological agent of AIDS leaving the body vulnerable to a variety of life threatening diseases (8). Transmission: AIDS is transmitted from the HIV virus through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk to others from infected host (1). The virus can be spread through sexual contact by oral, vaginal, or anal sex; receiving a blood transfusion, injection involving needles, artificial insemination and organ transplants from an infected donor....   [tags: The AIDS Epidemic 2015]

Research Papers
2065 words (5.9 pages)

Essay about HIV / AIDS among Kenyan Youth

- In 2001, Sub-Saharan Africa recorded the highest number of deaths from HIV/AIDS, with 29.4 million people living with AIDS; 10 million young people and 3 million children. Among these, 12.2 million were women and 10.1 million men. In 2002, 3.5 million new infections were reported. From this backdrop, Kenyans were interviewed on their perceptions of sex and condom use within heterosexual relationships revealing that denial and silence played a major role in the escalation of the pandemic while gender differences, culture and power were perceived as negatively impacting negotiation of sex and condom use within Kenyan communities....   [tags: HIV in Africa]

Free Essays
4064 words (11.6 pages)

HIV and AIDS Essay

- In 1981, the first cases of severe immune system deterioration were recognized developed unusual infections. The new disease was later named "AIDS". At that time, no one knew what was causing the disease. Since then, science has shown that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the cause of AIDS. As HIV infection progresses, it weakens a person's ability to fight off diseases. By attacking the immune system, the virus leaves people more susceptible to other diseases. When a person with HIV contracts one of several additional diseases, or when a person's immune system shows serious deterioration, that person is classified as having AIDS....   [tags: STD, HIV, AIDS]

Free Essays
1276 words (3.6 pages)

Menstrual irregularities, headache, sore muscles and joints, stomach ache and skin rash. Many people mistake some symptoms for the flu. AIDS symptoms also include weight loss, brain tumors and other health problems.
In order to become infected, a person must get a sufficient amount of HIV into their bloodstream. HIV/AIDS is spread though semen, vaginal fluids, menstrual fluids and breast milk. HIV/AIDS is not spread though saliva, sweat glands or urine.
A woman can become infected if she has unprotected penetrative sex vaginal or anal, with a man who has HIV. A woman having vaginal sex with a man who has HIV is 2-3 times more likely to become infected than a man would be if he had vaginal sex with an infected woman (HIV and AIDS).
AIDS is also spread though sharing contaminated needles for IV drug use, transfusions of blood or blood products from a person with AIDS and children born to an infected mother.
Many women in the U.S. have poor access to health care. In addition, women may not perceive themselves to be at risk for HIV infection. Because of this, symptoms that serve as a warning sign of HIV infection may go unheeded (Women and AIDS). Early diagnosis of HIV infection allows women to take full advantage of drug therapies for opportunistic infections, which can forestall the development of AIDS related symptoms and prolong life in HIV-infected people. (Women and AIDS)
There are different theories as to the origin of AIDS. AIDS was identified as a new disease in 1981 (Sowadsky). HIV is believed to have originated in Africa sometime between the late 1940s and the early 1950s from the monkey AIDS virus SIV, (Simian Immudificiency virus) (Sowadsky). The two viruses are very similar and are transmitted the same way. However HIV only causes AIDS in humans, and SIV only causes AIDS in monkeys. The SIV virus is found in blood. HIV must have entered humans via monkey blood. This could've happened by humans drinking monkey blood, eating raw monkeys or another direct exposure of monkey blood into humans (Sowadsky).
There are some theories that AIDS is a man-made virus created by the government. According to my references, there is no evidence of this. This issue, however, will probably never be resolved.
Many women are living with the HIV virus. As well as coping with their own virus, they are also trying to take care of family responsibilities. They may also have financial and treatment concerns, as well as a concern whether to have children.
Many women have great concerns whether to have children and the risk of their children of becoming infected. The chance of the virus being transmitted from mother to baby is about one in seven. Most perinatal transmission occurs late in pregnancy or during birth. Some scientists believe HIV may be transmitted when maternal blood enters the fetal circulation or by mucosal exposure to the virus during labor and delivery (Women and AIDS). Other factors that may increase the risk of perinatal transmission are maternal drug use, severe inflammation of fetal membranes, or a prolonged period between membrane rupture and delivery (Women and AIDS).
There are many things that we can do to try to prevent the spread of AIDS. We can avoid sexual contact with infected people and known IV drug users. Condoms should always be used. Avoiding unscreened blood product and un-steralized IV drug needles can also reduce the risk.


Works Cited

"HIV and AIDS: Information for Women." International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. 21 March 1999.

"Women and HIV" Health Square. 21 March 1999.

Sowadsky, Rick . "The Origin of the AIDS Virus" The Body: An AIDS and HIV Information Resource. 21 March 1999.

Return to 123HelpMe.com