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Getting Educated About Hiv/Aids Essay

1274 words - 6 pages

Getting Educated About HIV/AIDS
Millions of people in the world have HIV/AIDS. My whole life I've been told about the virus/syndrome from my parents and from many public service advertisements in magazines and television. Recently, my neighbor died of having AIDS because he refused to accept that he had the syndrome. Consequently, he did not receive treatment and therefore passed away. I chose this topic because it is important to actually understand the origin and history of HIV/AIDS, how to prevent from having HIV/AIDS, and why the HIV/AIDS virus is so stigmatized in the black community.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic began on June 5, 1981. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (A Timeline Of AIDS) published a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report detailing five rare cases of healthy gay men suddenly becoming ill with a lung infection, a non-working immune system and other illnesses. Afterwards, other doctors began writing to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about similar cases. In September of 1982, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses the term AIDS (Auto Immune Deficiency Syndrome) for the first time to describe this disease. (A Timeline Of AIDS) It wasn’t until 1983, that co-discovers, Professor Luc Montagnier of France and Dr. Robert Gallo of the United States of America discovered that HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) was the cause of AIDS. HIV is a retrovirus that weakens the immune system. If not treated, HIV can turn into AIDS. AIDS is a syndrome where the immune system is destroyed and a person can be more susceptible to infections and disease. During the 1980s, there was a lot of hysteria and false information that spread about HIV/AIDS. The syndrome seemed to come out of nowhere and with very little information many doctors believed that AIDS was only a gay person’s disease until later on when it was found out that heterosexuals could also have the AIDS syndrome. (Mustich, 2011) Since there was a lack of information, many people believed it was possible to get AIDS through any virtual contact, saliva, and sneezing. The only way to get HIV is through blood contact and genital fluids. Throughout the decades, as more information came out about HIV/AIDS, many people began to get educated to protect themselves against the virus.
Protection against HIV/AIDS is the best way to not contract the virus. Abstaining from sex is the number one way to protect oneself from the HIV virus. Abstinence is to not to have sex at all. If a person must have sex, it is best to use a condom. In 1987, the Food and Drug Administration approved of the use of the male condom to prevent HIV. Condoms are not 100% safe from protecting oneself from the virus; however it reduces the risks of spreading sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. The female condom was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1993. If a person does have unprotected sex, it is important to get tested for HIV. In today’s time, there are no...

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