The Effects Of Hiv Essay

2032 words - 8 pages

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that by the end of 2008, there were 490,696 people living with an AIDS diagnoses in the United States, around 38,000 more than 2006 and the numbers continue to rise. Since 2000, the annual number of new AIDS diagnoses has remained relatively constant, with an estimated 34,993 in 2009. In total, an estimated 1,142,714 people are living with a diagnosis of AIDS in America since the beginning of this tragic epidemic. Studied show in 2009 African Americans made up an estimated fifty percent of new HIV diagnoses, whites twenty-seven percent, and Hispanics/Latinos nineteen percent. HIV has also, been diagnosed in 217 children younger than 13 in 2010, majority becoming infected through mother to child transmission. These alarming statistics continues to rise as AIDS takes fifth place as the leading cause of death in individuals ages 25 to 44(Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).
Statistics show the main transmission routes among males, are male-to-male sexual contact rating at seventy-four percent, followed by heterosexual contact at fourteen percent and infected needle injecting drug use raking at eight percent. Among female adult and adolescents, an estimated eight-five percent received infection of HIV through heterosexual contact and fifteen percent through injecting drug use (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Transmitted from one person to another may only occur from person to person. These passages can contain semen and vaginal fluids exchanged through sexual contact, which is the most common route between men and women. Breast milk given through breast-feeding from a mother to her child may also be another form of transmission. Mothers may also pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy and even higher risk for passage during delivery. Blood-to-blood transaction such as a blood transfusion or sharing of infected needles may also be another form of transmission of the HIV virus. HIV is a virus and requires a living host in order to survive. Many myths reside concerning this disease but the truth of the matter is HIV, transmitted through air, insects such as mosquitoes, saliva, tears, urine or sweat, have never been proven. Casual contact such as shaking hands, sharing dishes, toilets or even causal kissing is also a myth pertaining to the transmission of HIV (Majure,1998). By decreasing high-risk behaviors such as participating in safe sex, knowing your status and avoiding drug use will decrease risks factors of HIV.
Before we can even begin to solve the HIV and AIDS epidemic, we must first educate ourselves on the disease process. HIV is a retrovirus consisting of a small strand of genetic material called RNA. Unlike bacteria, which is able to survive and reproduce on its own the HIV virus requires a living host or another living cell in order to survive. When the HIV virus enters the cell, it immediately begins to take control of its...

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