Sunday, November 30, 2008

1ST DECEMBER : WORLD AIDS DAY! PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE




Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS or Aids) is a collection of symptoms and infections resulting from the damage to the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

This condition progressively reduces the effectiveness of the immune system and leaves individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections and tumors.AIDS is a transferable disease. HIV is transmitted through direct contact of a mucous membrane or the bloodstream with a bodily fluid containing HIV, such as blood, semen, vaginal fluid, preseminal fluid, and breast milk.

This transmission can involve anal, vaginal or oral sex, blood transfusion, contaminated hypodermic needles, exchange between mother and baby during pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding, or other exposure to one of the above bodily fluids.

In 2007, an estimated 33.2 million people lived with the disease worldwide, and it killed an estimated 2.1 million people, including 330,000 children.
Although treatments for AIDS and HIV can slow the course of the disease, there is currently no vaccine or cure. Antiretroviral treatment reduces both the mortality and the morbidity of HIV infection, but these drugs are expensive and routine access to antiretroviral medication is not available in all countries.


Due to the difficulty in treating HIV infection, preventing infection is a key aim in controlling the AIDS epidemic, with health organizations promoting safe sex and needle-exchange programmes in attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

PREVENTION :
The three main transmission routes of HIV are sexual contact, exposure to infected body fluids or tissues, and from mother to fetus or child during perinatal period. It is possible to find HIV in the saliva, tears, and urine of infected individuals, but there are no recorded cases of infection by these secretions, and the risk of infection is negligible.
SEXUAL CONTACT
The majority of HIV infections are acquired through unprotected sexual relations between partners, one of whom has HIV. The primary mode of HIV infection worldwide is through sexual contact between members of the opposite sex. During a sexual act, only male or female condoms can reduce the chances of infection with HIV and other STDs and the chances of becoming pregnant. The best evidence to date indicates that typical condom use reduces the risk of heterosexual HIV transmission by approximately 80% over the long-term, though the benefit is likely to be higher if condoms are used correctly on every occasion.The male latex condom, if used correctly without oil-based lubricants, is the single most effective available technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Manufacturers recommend that oil-based lubricants such as petroleum jelly, butter, and lard not be used with latex condoms, because they dissolve the latex, making the condoms porous.

The female condom is an alternative to the male condom and is made from polyurethane, which allows it to be used in the presence of oil-based lubricants. They are larger than male condoms and have a stiffened ring-shaped opening, and are designed to be inserted into the vagina. The female condom contains an inner ring, which keeps the condom in place inside the vagina – inserting the female condom requires squeezing this ring. However, at present availability of female condoms is very low and the price remains prohibitive for many women. Preliminary studies suggest that, where female condoms are available, overall protected sexual acts increase relative to unprotected sexual acts, making them an important HIV prevention strategy.
Studies on couples where one partner is infected show that with consistent condom use, HIV infection rates for the uninfected partner are below 1% per year.Prevention strategies are well-known in developed countries, but epidemiological and behavioral studies in Europe and North America suggest that a substantial minority of young people continue to engage in high-risk practices despite HIV/AIDS knowledge, underestimating their own risk of becoming infected with HIV.
Randomized controlled trials have shown that male circumcision lowers the risk of HIV infection among heterosexual men by up to 60%. It is expected that this procedure will be actively promoted in many of the countries affected by HIV, although doing so will involve confronting a number of practical, cultural and attitudinal issues. Some experts fear that a lower perception of vulnerability among circumcised men may result in more sexual risk-taking behavior, thus negating its preventive effects.

MAJOR MISCONCEPTION SURROUNDING CAUSE OF AIDS
A number of misconceptions have arisen surrounding HIV/AIDS. Three of the most common are that AIDS can spread through casual contact, that sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure AIDS, and that HIV can infect only homosexual men and drug users. Other misconceptions are that any act of anal intercourse between gay men can lead to AIDS infection, and that open discussion of homosexuality and HIV in schools will lead to increased rates of homosexuality and AIDS.

There is surely a need for proper awareness regarding AIDS and HIV, and this post of mine as a part of bloggers union for a cause worldwide comes up with an appeal to all readers of my blog, not just to be aware of this but also to forward the world of awareness in a country like mine, where education and literacy issues along with ever growing population are haunting, your cooperation is a need of the hour! take care! wish you all a happy healthy and safe life!

4 comments:

paramveersaini said...

HUMMMMMMM.........nothing to write!!!.....u hav already described approximately every dimension abt aids awareness.......gr8

Femin Susan said...

Hi,
Congratulations....Your posting is very interesting...Keep writing.. Welcome to my blog...


Wishing you in advance "A Merry X'Mas and A Happy New Year''

PULKIT said...

thanks for the comments!
very few people commented on this, and i am glad that u took the time and pain to read this different effort of mine!
thanks :)

rishabh said...

aw3 bhaiya...i thnk now i shhould read all ur blogs coz u hav done an excellent work!!