The saddest incurable disease facing the world today is cancer. But the scariest is the HIV/AIDS virus. It is scary because it is a disease that humans can protect themselves from and for the most part choose not to. HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus and it attacks the T cells in our bodies. HIV interferes with our body’s ability to effectively fight viruses that cause diseases. HIV virus leads to AIDS acquired immune deficiency syndrome, which is a chronic and life threatening condition. Nationally HIV/AIDS became known in the early 1980’s but studies have shown that HIV/AIDS has been around since the 1950’s. It is said that AIDS originated in Africa. For the most part it is a disease that originated from monkeys. There are many stories of how this virus came about. One story rumored is that a monkey in Africa, infected with the HIV virus, stepped on a rock and slit the bottom of his foot leaving infected blood on the rock. Then a man walking the same path stepped on the same rock and the original blood mixed in his wound. No one really knows how it all started; the best explanation the book gives is human consumption of animal meat. Nonetheless HIV/AIDS is a serious disease that is killing America
The last phase of this disease is when the infected individual moves from HIV to full-blown AIDS. The infected person has no symptoms but their CD4 count ranges from 500-800. HIV attacks first in the acute phase; there are no symptoms in this phase, the infected person does not feel sick but they are highly infectious. In this phase the CD4 count has dropped below 200. Symptoms become more apparent in this phase such as swollen lymph nodes, unexpected fatigue and constant fevers, coughs and night sweats. The best protection during sexual contact is not to have sex, but if sex is happening the most effective protection is condoms. HIV infected individuals do not die from HIV infection or full-blown AIDS they die from complications of these opportunistic infections such as Pneumocystis Carinii pneumonia, this is where the lungs becomes useless and filled up with fluids; Mycobacterium tuberculosis, this a bacterial infection of the lungs; and lastly Kaposi"tms sarcoma, an unusual cancer of the blood vessels. But even though the body is working hard producing CD4 cells the immune system is still strong enough to deal with the HIV infection. At this stage the body is going through the "kitchen sink model," where CD4 cells are being produced like a faucet to fight off the HIV infection. Note that normal CD4 count is 800-1200. HIVAIDS is a preventable disease, which is that everyone, if given the right education, can protect himself or herself. So far there is no cure for AIDS but there is a drug therapy currently available. But these symptoms quickly go away. At this time the CD4 cells are larger than the viral load, that is HIV particle in the blood.
Some topics in this essay:
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