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HIV and AIDS: Information You Should Know

Updated on December 5, 2011

HIV and AIDS

 

HIV, or the human immunodeficiency virus, has been estimated to have shown up in the 1940's or


1950's according to http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9802/03/earliest.aids/. The Aaron Diamond AIDS


research center in New York traced the virus back to a man in the Belgian Congo in 1959. HIV has been traced back to a chimpanzee in West Africa who had SIV or Simian Immunodeficiency Virus which morphed into what we know now.

HIV and AIDs had been around for quite awhile before it really became well known in the 1980's. It


was then brought to the forefront by the death of many famous people including Freddie Mercury of


Queen. It was in the 80's that many were finally educated as to what caused this disease to be


transmitted. By destroying CD4+T cells, HIV damages the crucial part of the body to fight diseases


and illnesses. In other words, HIV makes the immune system less effective. The virus multiplies in


your lymph nodes and spleen and slowly destroys the T Cells.

Most people have no signs or symptoms of the disease making it almost impossible to diagnose without a blood test. Some people within two weeks of getting the disease may have flu-like symptoms including fever and swollen glands. Later on in the disease, according to http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiv-aids/ds00005/dsection=symptoms, most will have swollen lymph nodes, diarrhea and weight loss. Not everyone who has HIV has it turn into AIDS however.

It was estimated in 2006 that 56,000 people contracted the virus. The CDC figures that over 1 million in the USA actually have either AIDS or HIV.

I have included a chart of numbers in the US I found on the CDC website on the increase of this infectious disease since 1977.

The easiest way to contract the disease or transmit it is as follows:

Not using a condom during sexual encounters especially with someone new. Multiple sex partners increase the risk of HIV Sharing needles or syringes for drug use Being born to an infected mother


Other ways to contract the disease but are less likely:

  • accidental needle stick at a doctor's office or medical facility

  • contact with an infected patient's blood


If you are tested for HIV and it is positive your privacy and confidentiality are protected by law. If a person feels they are at risk for contracting the virus or feel they may have been exposed they should contact a doctor immediately.

References

the following reference was found through the cecybrary

http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/basic/index.htm

the rest of the references were found through google.com

http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/9802/03/earliest.aids/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hiv-aids/ds00005/dsection=symptoms



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