In 1981, a virus was causing many gay men and drug users in the US to lose their immune system and develop rare symptoms and diseases out of the blue. The cause of these was a mystery for a while, until the HIV virus was discovered and “accredited” the formation of these diseases.
Evolution Of AIDS
Most people agree that AIDS started out in Africa. It was most likely a latent disease infecting monkeys in the African Equatorial Forests. Because monkey DNA is very similar to human DNA, the virus skipped from them to humans, most likely from blood (a man must have hunted a monkey and its blood must have entered his blood system though a cut).
From there, the virus spread throughout Africa and eventually made it to the rest of the globe. Today, AIDS is considered a pandemic, basically meaning that it is wide-spread and the number of people suffering from it is constantly increasing.
The HIV virus causes the disease called AIDS, standing for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. As the name suggests, AIDS causes the immune system of the person suffering from it to slowly shut down. The effect on the immune system is stronger the more the disease progresses.
The negative effects on the immune system cause infections and tumors to appear that would normally be quite rare. The patient’s body is quite weak so it is not able to fight off opportunistic infections, and cancer has a much bigger chance of forming because cancerous cells cannot be properly eliminated.
Causes Of AIDS
The only way to acquire AIDS is from exchange of bodily fluids. Sexual intercourse is the most common of these. Using condoms decreases the chance of getting AIDS from an infected person, but do not rely on them since AIDS is known to have been contracted even when the healthy person always used condoms. Anal intercourse has a higher infection rate and the general dislike for condoms in the gay community make for the widespread rate of AIDS within homosexuals today.
Another way of getting AIDS is from blood exchange. As such, if an infected person’s blood somehow enters your bloodstream, you will most likely get AIDS as well. The blood exchange is most commonly done when several persons, one of which is infected with AIDS, use the same syringe.
This usually only happens with people who use injection drugs such as heroin. Hospitals usually carefully dispose of used syringes and carefully test blood donors so that they are not infected with AIDS. However, people do get AIDS in hospitals, especially in poor countries.
There is no known cure for AIDS. However, some medicine can be used to reduce the negative effects on the immune system.
AIDS continues to spread today, even with the massive effort of many anti-AIDS campaigns. Africa is the continent that was hit the hardest by AIDS, since condom use is practically non-existent in sub-Saharan countries except South Africa, and the general lack of medical care and knowledge to the disease make so that it spreads even easier. The public must be aware of the danger posed by AIDS, or else, the virus will continue to ravage not only to the third world countries but to the whole world one day.