Sunday, September 25, 2016

Neurological Complications of AIDS

      As with any disease, AIDS not only effects the body, but it also has an effect on how the brain works. One of the many downfalls of this is that neurological damage (damage on the brain) can never be reversed. It's a "Once done, always done," kind of deal. There are many ways AIDS has an effect on the brain, some of these include: seizures, headaches, forgetfulness, lack of coordination, coma, learning disabilities, etc. At first, the effects may be minor, but they can become life altering.

      There are so many ways AIDS infects the brain, so many, I can not name them all. However, many of the reoccurring effects of the disease are sicknesses. At first, the sickness will seem like an ordinary flu bug. As an example, many people will get "chickenpox", take the medications for it, but never get better. It is at that point where doctors will perform deeper examinations and are able to  determine the illness, called herpes zoster virus, is the perpetrator. This virus poisons the brain and causes it to produce encephalitis and myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord). This virus is only one of many that cause the brain to malfunction and cause inflictions upon the infected body.

      Another common form of infection is AIDS dementia complex (ADC). What is ADC? It a form of dementia that can be fatal if left untreated. Symptoms of ADC include the following: encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), changes in behavior, and a progressive decrease in cognitive functions, (complications with concentration, memory and attention span). Infected parties can show lack of motor functions and loss of dexterity, as well as, coordination. ADC, when left untreated can be fatal, even when anti-retroviral programs are used. Again, this is only one of many neurological complications of AIDS.

      In my opinion, there are too many unknowns with AIDS. For example, scientists are still unable to find a cure for the disease. Sure people could abstain from all sex, but what about the children who  are born with it? If researchers could find a cure, or even a way to 'put to sleep', some of the more severe side effects, such as the ones spoken about above, huge progress would be made. There needs to be mandatory testing for AIDS for people who have 'common colds'. If the disease is caught in the early stages, maybe the more severe side effects could be avoided, and lives could be saved.

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Sunday, September 18, 2016

AIDS Cont.

      The number one leading cause of teen deaths in Africa is AIDS. The number two cause of teen deaths worldwide is also AIDS. Statistics show that approximately 2,100 teens are infected with AIDS every day. In the year 2013, a study performed by researchers showed that four million adolescents (ages 15-24) were infected, and living, with AIDS. Twenty-nine percent of these young people were under the age of nineteen.

      An interesting fact about these infected teens is that most of them are from low to middle class families. Why is this interesting? Because it leads to the assumption that these young people are not getting the sex education they need to protect themselves from this deadly disease. If the infected teens were educated on the subject, not only on sex, but also on how to use protection while having sex, many of these statistics would decrease rapidly. Most low to middles class teens are from third world countries, therefore, are not financially able to get the education they need to protect themselves.

Image result for aids in babies
        Many teens are born with AIDS. In 2013, it was estimated that nearly 240,000 children were infected by their mothers from breastfeeding, and while baby was still in the tummy.  Mothers who have become infected bare their children into the world, and baby is immediately infected with the disease. If baby comes into the world ladened with a disease, he is not going to magically recover. He is going to have to use medications through his entire life. However, this is not ideal. Most families do not have the financial stability to be able to use the medical help.

      In my opinion, if a child is born with this disease and his family is not able to get medications for his illness, they should be given some kind of financial help. However, if the mother of the baby is promiscuous and does not use protection when she is 'doing her thing,' the baby should be taken out of her possession and she should be punished severely. Genetic testing should also be an option. Find out if baby has the disease before coming into the world, and find a cure. The baby should not be punished for his parents' unwise decisions. Therefore, if baby grows up to a teen and finds out he is infected, suing the parents should be an option.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016

AIDS in Gay and Bisexual Men

     After many studies on HIV and AIDS, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has proven that gay and bisexual men are at the highest risk to contract AIDS than any other person group. Studies have also shown that out of the bisexaul and gay men, Latinos and African Americans have a higher risk than white men for the disease. It is estimated that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with AIDS within their lifetime. Out of these men,1 in 2 are black/African Americans, 1 in 4 are Latino or Hispanic, and 1 in 11 will be white. Although the statistics are high, there are preventative actions that can be taken against AIDS.
     Many teen men are scared, embarrassed, or simply do not have the funds to be tested for AIDS. That being said, many of these men will get the disease and will never know because they were not tested. Not only is this unfortunate for the teen, but also, for the teen’s partners. If he does not know he has the disease, he will continue to be promiscuous, and will spread the disease to every partner he does not use protection with.  Soon, several teens will be contaminated with the disease without knowledge.
     Although there has been a little decrease in the percentage of AIDS cases, the statistics are still huge for gay and bisexual men. So, what are the ways to prevent the disease from spreading more? The most dangerous form of sex is anal. If men would use more protection, or abstain from anal sex altogether, there would be less disease. When talking about anal, the receiver is at more of a risk than the giver. There are also medications that can be taken for preventive actions.
     In my opinion, if gay and bisexual men are at a higher risk for AIDS, they should be tested more often. If they are not financially able to make testing payments, they should be able to receive help. If a teen spreads his infection to his partner, and the partner was not told of the infection prior, he should be able to sue. If the partner knows and gets infected, it is his own fault and should not be able to sue. I think condoms and other preventive methods should be more freely available, and not only to males, but to all the genders.  
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Monday, September 5, 2016

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

    Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and Human Immuno- Deficiency Virus (HIV) are both sexually transmitted diseases. What is AIDS exactly? According to the dictionary, it is "a disease in which there is a severe loss of the body's cellular immunity, greatly lowering the resistance to infection and malignancy."  These disease are transferred through the participation in unprotected sex, having sexual intercourse without condoms. AIDS is quickly spread from person-to-person through several methods, and among different age groups. Unprotected sex is the big problem, as well as, shared drug needles, but sex between adults and teens/children, and children who are born with the disease, are the biggest kickers. 

                 To begin with, protected sex is the only sure-fire way to insure partners will not transfer AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases (STD), but even this method is not going to work 100%. Having sexual intercourse, anal sex, or oral sex, (outercourse) with several partners will increase your risk of becoming infected with AIDS. How can you prevent the infection? Use condoms and PrEP. PrEP is used by people who have never had AIDS before and it protects users from getting the disease. Most teens who sleep with multiple partners, without protection, will become infected with the disease. 

              At the same time, another large cause of the spread of AIDS is through drug use. There are many ways to receive drugs into the human body, one such way is using needles to inject the drug. Many times, one needle will be used by multiple people. If the first person to use the needle is infected with AIDS/HIV, everyone else after who uses the needle, will then become infected, as well. Suddenly, needle by needle, hundreds of people, who may be virgins, are now infected with the disease. 
Image result for aids infected teen

             Thirdly, in many third world countries, it is believed that if a man or woman becomes infected with AIDS, HIV, or an STD, the only way to rid themselves of the disease is to have intercourse with a virgin. Many adults will then have sex with a teen or a young child. This only spreads the disease more, until everyone is infected with the disease and will continue to spread it to anyone they become sexually active with. Many of these infected teens will be tested for AIDS but when testing is positive, they will not get the needed medical attention. 

             In conclusion, it is my opinion, that these third world countries should be educated on the dire need for medical attention. If not treated, infected adults and teens will die. This vast death among the younger generation will eventually decrease the population and could very well be the downfall of the nations. If a teen is tested AIDS or HIV positive, there should be mandatory medical treatment.  
Image result for aids infected teen
Testing for AIDS