Sunday, November 6, 2016


     When I started this project I thought AIDS was a simple disease with a simple cause. “Have sex with multiple partners with no protection? Congratulations, you now have an incurable disease that will most likely cause a horrible death.” But, I now know it is way more complex than that. Here’s what I have learned about AIDS over the last ten weeks.
     AIDS is more than just a couple bumps here and there in your genital regions. AIDS can affect so many more parts of the body than just the places where multiple persons’ genitals have come in contact with multiple other people’s genitals. And AIDS isn’t spread only by having unprotected sex. Babies can be born with it as a result of the actions of their parents. However unfair that is, it’s a fact of life that needs to be dealt with. The more I dug into this complex disease, the more I wanted doctors to find a cure for it.
     One part of the body that AIDS affects is the neurological system. I know I have already written about it, but that truly blew my mind how heavy an impact AIDS has on the brain. This fact scares me quite a bit. If the brain dies, a person would be left with nothing. Just one more reason to find a cure for this horrible disease.
     A friend of mine was trying to help me figure out what to write about how to cure this disease and we started talking about being more proactive. People already know about the disease. It is not as if we are ignoring its existence, but we are choosing to turn a blind eye towards the damage AIDS is doing to our population.  How many people have died as a direct result of AIDS? Approximately 35 million people. That is a terrifying statistic. People need to be actively fighting against AIDS, and it needs to start in the teens. If we can help end teen AIDS, there will be increasingly less adults in the future giving birth to babies who have the disease. I do not know what the cure is, but if we can at least prevent  the younger population from getting the disease, maybe we can fight it in the adults.
CLICK HERE for more information.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

School-Condom Availability

     Teens need to be actively using contraceptives when they are involving themselves in sexual activities. Some teens, especially ones who have not been sexually active for a long time, are extremely timid about getting the needed protection. More simply put, adolescents are embarrassed to go to a store and buy condoms. It is inevitable that without the use of condoms, or other preferred protection, AIDS/HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases will be spread. Therefore, condoms should be made more easily available.
Image result for school condom availability program      Some schools across the US are taking matters into their own hands to protect their students from AIDS. Several of the eastern states in America are making condoms available to students, with no charge. In most cases, the school offered a vending machine that had condoms in it, however, students did not have to pay a fee to get their condom. They simply pushed a button and it came out. Some studies have shown that with the increase of more available protection, there was a decrease in sexual activity.
     When researchers compared smaller schools to larger schools, they discovered an interesting fact. The smaller school had a tendency to use more condoms, and students were more sexually active. However, the larger schools used fewer condoms and the students were not partaking in as many sexual activities. Although students got the protection for free, there was a small stipulation some schools applied to the teens. In order to get the condom, the teen had to participate in a mini sex education/counseling session. Once they finished the session, they could have as many condoms as they wanted.
     Schools should consider this program. Will all schools allow this? No. In a way, offering condoms so freely could be harmful to students, but one would think the positives would outweigh the negatives. No one is going to be able to completely stop teenagers from having sex, but if the spread of AIDS could be decreased by this simple program, I think, schools should definitely take part in it. AIDS is deadly, this is a simple solution that I think schools across the nation should participate in.
CLICK HERE for more Information
CLICK HERE for more Information

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Teen Denial

     The average teen who is sexually active will usually have the mindset that he/she is immune to AIDS. To the mind, it is almost as if there is no way they could contract the disease. There are some things that support this mindset, like protection. Some teens believe if they use a condom every time they have sex, they are invincible; however, this ideology is false. The risk is reduced, but still exists.
     Why is it so dangerous for teens to think they are incapable of getting AIDS? The biggest reason I see is they might have unprotected sex more often, which is a sure fire way to get the disease. Most teens, when they are told they have AIDS/HIV go into a state of denial. This is so dangerous because in their mind, if they do not have AIDS, they will sleep with more people, without telling their partner they have a disease. Which, in turn, spreads AIDS to more people and the cycle continues.
Image result for aids in teens
     Teens can go into different stages of denial. That is, they are unable to cope well with the idea that they have AIDS. this is helpful at first, but then can become an issue. Teens can become angry and take out their anger on those around them; they can also go into a deep depression, which is also unhelpful and dangerous to the health of the teen. They can become anxious and fearful. Although these are just a few of coping issues, there are many more that I will discuss in a later blog.
     Teens need to be more aware of the people they are having sex with. I think there need to be more questions asked before participating in sexual activities.Obviously, reducing the people we become sexually active with will reduce the possibility of contracting AIDS or other sexually transmitted disease. However, teens, and everyone in general, need to be consciously asking their partners if they have and STD.  Also, I think teens need to be able to cope with the new idea of having a disease. There needs to be programs more readily available to help.
CLICK HERE for more information
CLICK HERE for more information
CLICK HERE for more information

Sunday, October 16, 2016

AIDS in Human Trafficking

     Human trafficking is a horrible crime which involves the trading of women, girls, boys, men, and teens. There are several types of human trafficking, but I am going to focus on sex and commercial sex trafficking because they are  most applicable to AIDS. So, what is sex trafficking exactly? It is forced, fraud, or coercion to cause a commercial sex act with an adult or causes a minor to commit a commercial sex act. Commercial sex trafficking includes prostitution, pornography, and sexual performance done in exchange for any item of value, such as, money, drugs, shelter, food, or clothes.
     Sex trafficking is, not only a dangerous business to be involved with, but it is also illegal. The teens taken are put into horrible living conditions, and they are forced to perform sexual activities at an almost constant rate. The pressure put onto these teens is relentless. So what makes this such a breeding ground for AIDS? In many cases, condoms are not put into use while having sex. If the teens were having sexual relations with only one partner, protection would not be such a huge dilemma. However, these young people are forced to perform, without protection, with many partners, who also have multiple partners, and so on. Because of the lack of protection, AIDS/HIV spreads at an alarming rate.
     That being said,  how do we stop this epidemic of evil? We cannot. We will never be able to stop human trafficking because people are evil, and we will always find means around the laws put around them. It is our human nature. If we are unable to stop the crimes from happening, we are incapable to prevent the advancement of AIDS in these sex workers/slaves.
     So, what’s my view? Doctors and scientists need to find a cure for AIDS. If we allow this disease to carry on with its effect on humanity, in due time, AIDS will be the number one cause of death on earth. If a vaccination to prevent the disease can be created, and injected into the body at birth, we could put an end to this epidemic. Create an at-birth cure, we can put an end to the infection.
CLICK HERE for a blog on Human Trafficking

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Antiretroviral Drugs

     As I have previously discussed the effects of AIDS and the complications it lays on the body, I have mentioned a drug, or form of medication, called an antiretroviral. So what is the drug’s purpose? It does not cure or rid the body of the disease, it simply slows rate at which the virus grows. The spread of HIV can be slowed through the slowing of the virus growth. These drugs are generally referred to as ARV.
     Antiretroviral therapy is a very effective form a treating HIV. Antiretroviral therapy is also known as ART. When the human body takes one drug for long periods of time, it will grow accustomed to the drug and will create a resistance. Therefore, when a patient is using ART, they are generally prescribed a combination of drugs. The body will become resistant to the therapy if the combination of drugs is used.
Image result for antiretroviral      Antiretroviral drugs are not a cure for AIDS. Many times patients will think they are cured after taking the medications, but they have false beliefs. There is no cure for AIDS, this medication simply slows down the rate of growth. A blood test is done of the patient to see how much of the disease has seeped into the blood. In some patients, they have such a low level, the disease is almost undetectable. The lower the level, the more healthy the patients tend to be. Also, if a patient is taking ARV, they will be less likely to spread AIDS to their partner(s).
     In my opinion, I think ARV and ART programs would be very useful. Slowing down the rate at which a disease grows would be more welcoming than letting it completely take over my body. I think it is strange that there can be low amounts of the disease found in the body. One would think that if you had a disease, it would be there and the body would be completely taken over. In a way, AIDS is almost comparable to cancer in that way.  Also, since taking the medications reduces the risk of transferring the disease, I would not hesitate.
For more information, CLICK HERE

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Neurological Complications Continuation

      We now know AIDS can affect the brain, but how does a person find out they have a neurological malfunction caused by AIDS? There are many forms of  diagnoses physicians can perform on the patient. The first of these is through a medical history exams. The doctor will study the patients medical problems and go from there. If there has never been past complications that could indicate AIDS, then the doctors will go further and do a physical examination. The entire body will be examined by a family doctor, or a specialist. 
Image result for brain activity scan hiv
Brain imaging results
      The second type of diagnoses procedure is through general neurological disorder tests. AIDS is a 'mimicker' disease. Put simply, it is capable of mimicking the symptoms of other diseases, such as, bipolar disorder, Alzheimer's, ADHD, and many other illnesses. Because of this, many parts of brain activity must be tested.  The areas tested are as follows: motor and sensory skills; mental status; nerve functions; changes in mood and behavior; hearing and speech impediments, vision complications; and coordination/balance.  
      There are many different forms of testing for the previously listed complications. Brain imaging is the most commonly used procedure. Through brain imaging, these areas of damages can be seen: inflammation of the brain, internal bleeding/hemorrhaging, tumors(CNS lymphomas), white matter irregularities, etc. Because the neurological functions are so intricate, there must be several examination types.  Some of these ways are through computed tomography scans (CT scan), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Functions MRI (fMRI), and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS).  Other alternative ways are electromyography (EMG), a biopsy, which is where skin and tissue samples are tested, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. 

Image result for cerebrospinal fluid
Cerebrospinal Fluid Analysis Procedure
      It fathoms my mind to think AIDS can affect so many different areas of the brain. I knew AIDS was more serious than the 'common' mole or wart, but knowing the brain can become extremely messed up because of the disease, is especially concerning.  If the symptoms are so common, it leads one to believe there are more statistics researchers are not aware of.  If I was losing vision, I would think it was my eyes failing, where in all reality, I could have a deadly disease and never know it. There should be more AIDS testings available at the regular physical examination. 
For more information, CLICK HERE.