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Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome Essay

Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome AIDS is a life and death issue.

To have the AIDS diseas is atpresent a sentence of slow but inevitable death. I’ve already lost onefriend to AIDS. I may soon lose others. My own sexual behavior and that ofmany of my friends has been profoundly altered by it. In my part of thecountry, one man in10 may already be carrying the AIDS virus. While the figuresmay currently be less in much of the rest of the country,this is changingrapidly.

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There currently is neither a cure, nor even an effective treatment,and no vaccine either. But there are things that have been PROVEN immenselyeffective in slowing the spread of this hideously lethal disease. In thisessay I hope to present this information. History and OverviewAIDS stands for Acquired Immune Defficiency Disease.

It is caused by avirus. The disease originated somewhere in Africa about 20 years ago. Thereit first appeared as a mysterious ailment afflicting primarily heterosexualsof both sexes. It probably was spread especially fast by primarily femaleprostitutes there.

AIDS has already become a crisis of STAGGERING proportionsin parts of Africa. In Zaire, it is estimated that over twenty percent ofthe adults currently carry the virus. That figure is increasing. And whatoccurred there will, if no cure is found, most likely occur here amongheterosexual folks.

AIDS was first seen as a disease of gay males in this country. This was a result of the fact that gay males in this culture in the daysbefore AIDS had an average of 200 to 400 new sexual contacts per year. Thisfigure was much higher than common practice among heterosexual (straight)men or women. In addition, it turned out that rectal sex was aparticularly effective way to transmit the disease,and rectal sex is acommon practice among gay males.

For these reasons, the disease spread in thegay male population of this country immensely more quickly than in otherpopulations. It became to be thought of as a “gay disease”. Because thedisease is spread primarily by exposure of ones blood to infected bloodor semen, I. V. drug addicts who shared needles also soon were identifiedas an affected group.

As the AIDSepidemicbegantoaffectincreasingly large fractions of those two populations (gay males and IV drugabusers), many of the rest of this society looked on smugly, for bothpopulations tended to be despised by the “mainstream” of society here. But AIDS is also spread by heterosexual sex. In addition, itis spread by blood transfusions. New born babies can acquire the disease frominfected mothers during pregnancy.

Gradually more and more “mainstream” folksgot the disease. Most recently, a member of congress died of the disease. Finally,even the national news media began to join in the task ofeducating the public to the notion that AIDS can affect everyone. Basic medical research began to provide a few bits of information,and some help.

The virus causing the disease was isolated and identified. The AIDS virus turned out to be a very unusual sort of virus. Its geneticmaterial was not DNA,but RNA. When it infected human cells, it had itsRNA direct the synthesis of viral DNA. While RNA viruses are not thatuncommon, very few RNA viruses reproduce by setting up the flow ofinformation from RNA to DNA.

Such reverse or “retro” flow of informationdoes not occur at all in any DNA virus or any other living things. Hence,the virus was said to belong to the rare group of virues called “Retro Viruses”. Research provided the means to test donated blood for the presence of theantibodies to the virus, astronomically reducing the chance of ones gettingAIDS from a blood transfusion. This was one of the first real breakthroughs.The same discoveries that allowed us to make our blood bank blood supply farsafer also allowed us to be able to tell (in most cases) whether one has beenexposed to the AIDS virus using a simple blood test

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Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome Essay
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Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome AIDS is a life and death issue. To have the AIDS diseas is atpresent a sentence of slow but inevitable death. I've already lost onefriend to AIDS. I may soon lose others. My own sexual behavior and that ofmany of my friends has been profoundly altered by it. In my part of thecountry, one man in10 may already be carrying the AIDS virus. While the figuresmay currently be less in much of the rest of the country,this is changingrapidly. There
2021-07-13 10:44:55
Acquired Immune Difficiency Syndrome Essay
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