The Importantance of AIDS Education Essays

Submitted By Katharine-Irvine
Words: 1327
Pages: 6

The Importance of HIV/AIDS Education
Unit 6 Project
Katharine Irvine
College Composition CM107
Prof. Amanda McClure

AIDS stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is a more advanced HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) infection. What happens in the body when a person develops HIV is that the virus attaches to a specific white blood cell is called a T cell. White blood cells are a very important factor in the immune system. The virus then infects these cells and spreads to all the other ones. This slowly destroys the immune system and makes it impossible for the body to fight off this or any other infection. The way that medical professionals determine that the HIV infection is present in the body is by doing testing and finding out the T cell count. If the cell count is low, they perform a test to detect if the HIV antibody is present. If an antibody is detected, the disease is present in the body. “AIDS is a more advanced stage of HIV. It can take up to ten years for HIV to develop into AIDS.” (CDC, 2008) Nowadays, schools and individuals do not take the time to become properly educated about this disease that has over 33 million people infected. As a medical professional it is important to educate people on how the disease is transmitted, to get tested and the available tests, and explain the treatments and care that is out there for someone living with this disease. There are three main ways that HIV/AIDS is transmitted. First, it may be transmitted through unprotected sex with someone who already has the disease. “Semen and vaginal fluids pass through delicate mucous membranes that are inside the vagina and rectum.” (Avert, 2008-2013) The statistics are higher with gay individuals but it is possible to infect anyone. This disease may also be contracted by receiving a transfusion with already HIV positive blood, and by sharing drug paraphernalia, especially needles, with someone who has it. Today, medical facilities are usually very careful with screening blood for many different infections such as HIV and Hepatitis. Unfortunately, in lower financed areas and countries, it is more difficult to afford these screening processes and there is more of a risk of having already tainted blood go though to be transfused. Many drug users tend to share needles and other paraphernalia. This is a very dangerous choice to make. It is nearly impossible to tell who is infected and who isn’t, therefore, sharing something that someone else’s blood comes into contact with is not a very smart idea. Finally, this disease can be spread from a mother to an infant through breast feeding. HIV can enter an infant’s body through the gut and possibly the tonsils. “HIV infected CD4 cells replicate themselves in the milk. Once ingested, the virus is absorbed through breaches in the baby’s mucous membranes that line all the body passages and cavities.” (Avert, 2008-2013) A person will not become infected with this deadly virus unless they directly come into contact with someone who has it in any of these ways. Medical professionals can help the spread of this disease somewhat by offering condoms and clean unused needles to those who request them. It is very important to be tested for this disease, but more so if there is any belief that contact was made with the disease. Immediate action must be taken so that if the test comes up positive, plans can be made for medication and therapy and to make sure doctors can monitor the person to make sure the body is accepting the treatments. There are many different kinds of testing available to find out if the infection is present. As stated before, a HIV antibody test is available. This test is the most appropriate test for diagnosis. It looks for HIV fighting proteins (antibodies) in the salvia, blood, or urine. An antigen test may also tell if HIV is present. “The antigen on HIV that provokes antibodies is the protein p24. P24