Aids Research Paper 2
In 2009, 33. 3 million people around the world were living with AIDS, but with the stigmas, judgment and lack of education on the disease sufferers are too afraid to say they have the disease and seek treatment for it (HIV/AIDS: Frequently Asked Questions, 2011). So where is the cure for AIDs, what treatments are out there, who is at risk the most, what research is being done, what can we as a public to prevent the spread of AIDs? In this research paper I will discuss all of this and more in the subject of AIDs and those with the disease. I saw the tortured face of AIDS. It grimaced with the pain of fever and nausea. It gasped with fluid-filled lungs. It wore huge, open sores that emerged from deep in the throat and spread over the lips, neck, and torso. In advanced stages of the disease, the central nervous system can begin to deteriorate, leaving some victims powerless even to close their eyes and mouths. Nerve endings in the extremities go numb or tingle as if pricked by thousands of needles. AIDS robs the brain of its cognitive functions, leaving patients raving with dementia.
It saps the body’s protein, wasting muscles to the bone. Draped in nothing but skin, 20-year-olds look 70. ”- Michael Klesius from his article in Search for a Cure from National Geographic’s. First, the topic of what AIDs is and how you can contract it is very important. AIDs are an acronym for Acquired Immune Deficiency syndrome. When a person has AIDs, his or her body has been weakened to the point where it is no longer able to effectively fight disease. As a result, many other health problems develop when a person has AIDS (HIV/AIDS, 2008).
The American Heritage Medical Dictionary states the medical definition of AIDs is “A severe immunological disorder caused by the retrovirus HIV, resulting in a defect in cell-mediated immune response that is manifested by increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and to certain rare cancers, especially Kaposi’s sarcoma. It is transmitted primarily by exposure to contaminated body fluids, especially blood and semen (The American Heritage Medical Dictionary, 2007). ” How can you contract AIDs?
AIDs has been found in saliva, tears, nervous system tissue and spinal fluid, blood, semen, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. However, only blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk generally transmits infection to others (HIV/AIDS: Frequently Asked Questions, 2011). The most common ways the virus is transmitted is through sexual contact, through blood, mother to child while pregnant, and infected needles. Where did AIDs begin, when did it begin? In America AIDs hit the book in the early 1980’s, formal tracking of the AIDs virus began in 1982.
After tracking the disease the following year scientists realized the disease was actually first noted in the United States in the mid- to late-1970s, doctors in California and New York noticed growing numbers of gay men developing rare types of pneumonia, cancer and other illnesses (HIV/AIDS, 2008) . How did AIDs come about is still a mystery, in 1999 a research team discovered HIV (which can turn into AIDs) in a group of chimpanzees native to west Africa, hunters contracted the disease through hunted chimpanzee blood.
Who is most at risk of contracting AIDs? Though everyone ill-informed of how to protect them from contracting AIDs is at risk of following victim to the disease, there are certain groups of people who are even more at risk. In the United States alone racial and ethnic minorities are most at risk. In the United States, the group with the highest rate of HIV infection is men who have sex with men.
People with lower socioeconomic status are more likely to contract and transmit AIDS, perhaps because they have less knowledge about AIDS, are surrounded by people who are more likely to have AIDS, and are more likely to use drugs and practice unsafe sex to escape from stress (Feldman, 1990). In 2009 around the world 33. 3 million people were living with AIDs, more than 60 million people have been infected since the pandemic began, AIDs is the fourth leading cause of death globally (HIV/AIDS: Frequently Asked Questions, 2011). Close to 5,000 people die a day due to AIDs, 1. million have died (HIV & AIDS stigma and discrimination)since 2009, and 25 million have died since the pandemic began (HIV/AIDS: Frequently Asked Questions, 2011). 97% of people living with AIDs live in low-and middle-income countries. The most affected countries are Sub-Saharan Africa; parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America are experiencing a severe epidemic with AIDs. “Stigma remains the single most important barrier to public action. It is a main reason why too many people are afraid to see a doctor to determine whether they have the disease, or to seek treatment if so.
It helps make AIDS the silent killer, because people fear the social disgrace of speaking about it, or taking easily available precautions. Stigma is a chief reason why the AIDS epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world. ” Said AIDS Scientist Ban Co-Kim in 2008. Stigma plays a huge role in the lives of AIDS victims creating many psycho-social challenges. Stigmas not only make it hard for people trying to cope with the fact that they have contracted the AIDs virus and manage their illness but it also interfere with attempts to fight the AIDS epidemic as a whole (HIV & AIDS stigma and discrimination).
Factors that contribute to stigmas with AIDS are it is a life-threatening disease, so people are scared and react accordingly. AIDS is associated with behaviors like homosexually, drug addiction, prostitution all cause stigmas. There is a lot if inaccurate information which is misleading on how AIDS can be transmitted. A study done in Tanzania found that their perception of people living with AIDS as weak and therefore a “burden” on the community had decreased with the uptake of treatment (Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS). 7% of American prefers not to live in close proximity to a women suffering with AIDS. Because of all the stigmas related to AIDS people refuse to get tested or treatment because they don’t want to be seen as a drug user, a poor person, a homosexual or irresponsible to society. This is very dangerous because without getting tested you put your partners, family and friends at risk of contracting this fatal disease. When an infected person waits to long to get tested and the virus turns from just a virus to AIDS treatments become less effective and increases early fatality.
There are many possible consequences of AIDS such as loss of income, loss of marriage and child bearing options, poor care within the health care sector, with-drawl of caregiving at home, loss of hope, and loss of reputation are all stigmas (HIV & AIDS stigma and discrimination). Family and friends may become more distant causing AIDS victims to feel alone, worthless and hopeless. Even though AIDS carries a lot of stigmas, there are still support groups all over the United States that are educated in the disease and can provide support and hope.
A couple of Support groups are amFAR the foundation for AIDS research and AIDS support group of Cape Cod. amfAR works with healthcare workers and AIDS organizations in developing countries to create and implement effective HIV research, treatment, prevention, and education strategies. Through its education and outreach efforts, amfAR spreads awareness of HIV/AIDS, promotes HIV prevention, and endeavors to engage all communities in the fight against AIDS (amFAR AIDS Research, 1985). amFAR is a nonprofit research group, which is supported by research grants and donations. mFAR treats AIDS patients around the world in Asia, United States, and the Pacific. amFAR has created a network of clinics, hospitals, and research institutions working with civil society to ensure the safe and effective delivery of AIDS treatments throughout Asia, the US and the Pacific. The Research program focuses on efforts to prevent HIV infection in those who are vulnerable, and to improve treatment, with the ultimate goal of eradicating the virus for people living with HIV infection (amFAR AIDS Research, 1985). mFAR has been up and running since AIDS came into the public eye in 1981, it helps AIDS victims through the world because it is mostly internet based now. AIDS support group of Cape Cod primary mission is to provide a better quality of life to those suffering from AIDS, and to provide health education, prevention, and harm reduction. As well as providing accurate information on AIDS. This support group is supported by funds from donations. They offer programs such as nutrition programs, transportation programs, emergency assistance funds, housing and peer support groups.
They also have a program called the L. I. F. E program that is specifically designed for individuals living with AIDS, offered through our prevention department and is facilitated by a mental health professional and a peer group. L. I. F. E is a 13 week program limited to 20 people designed to enhance the immune system. They also have many different prevention programs such as partner notification, rapid HIV testing, and needle exchange and drug overdose prevention. For the community they also offer programs such as educational programs, fuel assistance, and free screening with vaccines.
AIDS support groups of Cape Cod’s motto are a small agency with a global impact and they live up to their motto. Actress Ashley Judd said in 1968 on the subject of AIDS, “Abstinence, being faithful and correct and consistent condom use is the only ways to successfully reach everyone when discussing HIV prevention. I believe that the abstinence message alone does not solve the AIDS epidemic. ” Where is Research now with the cure for AIDS? A number of U. S. HIV experts agree: a cure for AIDS is probably beyond the reach of the current research establishment.
Instead, they believe a cure will spring from a small, flexible research organization — one that thinks “outside the box. ” AIDS Research Alliance is just such an organization. So far they have been successes towards the fight against AIDS such as: Nelfinavir, a protease inhibitor regarded as an effective and well-tolerated anchor drug in many triple therapy combinations; Tenofovir, the first drug indicated for patients in a “salvage situation” whose immune systems do not respond to any other HIV drugs.
Sustained release d4t that simplifies drug regimens with once-a-day dosing. Integrase Inhibitor, a new class of anti-HIV drugs and Serostim, a growth hormone for treatment of HIV-associated lipodystophy (Cure= Research + Innovation). The latest in AIDS research is there is still NO cure, AIDS is definitely a sneaky, clever virus but no one is giving up just yet. The only way to end the pandemic is by developing a vaccine. Scientists across the world are on a hunt to find an effective vaccine.
Two vaccines have documented that immunization with polyvalent simian immunodeficiency virus vaccines can induce sustained control of HIV viremia, but further research is needed (The Imortance of an AIDS vaccine). Another development in research is stem cell treatment which could fight AIDS. Scientists have claimed a breakthrough in the fight against AIDS with a pioneering stem cell treatment that protects the immune system from the virus that causes the disease (Gray, 2009).
The technique involves isolating genes which curb the spread of HIV inside the body, introducing the genes into human stem cells in a laboratory, and then transplanting the stem cells into a patient’s bone marrow (Gray, 2009). In the first human trial, anti-HIV stem cells were transplanted into five AIDS patients undergoing bone marrow replacement as part of treatment for form of cancer known as lymphoma (Gray, 2009). Small quantities of the transplanted stem cells were able to grow and produce new white blood cells resistant to HIV, resulting in an improvement in the patients’ conditions (Gray, 2009).
Bone marrow contains stem cells that can form into any type of blood cells including the white blood cells that form part of the immune system. Scientists have found they can import three genes that protect cells against attack from HIV into these blood stem cells in the laboratory (Gray, 2009). By giving patients stem cells that carry these anti-HIV genes, the patients’ bodies are able to produce new white blood cells that are resistant to attack from HIV and so able to defend the body from other forms of infection (Gray, 2009).
Dr Marilyn Robertson, network director of the Scottish stem cell network and an AIDS expert says “Bone marrow operations are both risky and expensive so for it to be an effective way of treating the millions of people who have AIDS, it would need to be something that could be given more like an injection. Interventions in the AIDS virus and medical field are key. One key form of interventions is prevention. Preventions taken seriously one hundred percent protect anyone from transmitting of contracting the virus.
There are many preventatives that can be taken. HIV testing, protection and education are the main ways to create prevention against AIDS. AIDS prevention should begin with education, as read in earlier paragraphs there are many stigmas that are linked to the AIDS virus, though the stigmas are usually wrong they also make society so scared they take protection in to over drive which is good. AIDS can only be transmitted through blood, semen, vaginal secretions, and breast milk generally transmits infection to others.
Protection from AIDS is simple after taking precautions around an infected person’s blood, condom education and usage is 100% needed. After protection education, HIV testing is very important. Many clinics such as Planned Parenthood will perform the tests for free of at a very low cost. Enabling people to know their HIV testing protects more them just themselves, it protects their partners, family, friends, and coworkers. Education, prevention methods and HIV testing are serious interventions that will protect society from contracting AIDS and may stop the AIDS pandemic. HIV/AIDS is the most devastating disease humankind has ever faced. Since the beginning of the pandemic 25 years ago nearly 65 million people have been infected with HIV and AIDS has killed more than 25 million people. AIDS 2006 aims to link community and science to galvanise the world’s response to this pandemic through increased commitment, leadership and accountability (Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS)” AIDS is Acquired immune deficiency syndrome, a disease in which there is a severe loss of the body’s cellular immunity, greatly lowering the resistance to infection and malignancy.
It begins as HIV and overtime turns into AIDS. AIDS has affected more than 33. 3 million people since then beginning of the pandemic. People who are at risk are lower income people, those who practice in risky activities such as prostitution and drug use. Homosexuals are also commonly known for being at risk of contracting AIDS. AIDS is spread through bodily fluids such as blood and semen also unprotected sex. There are many stigmas that go hand in hand with AIDS which makes it very difficult for those living with AIDS to live out normal lives.
They are judged and criticized over their personal choices, family and friends abandon them. Employment maybe more difficult to obtain, AIDS victims have to deal with a lot of hate. There is no cure for AIDS yet but there are scientists dedicating their time to finding one, stem cell treatment and vaccines are leading experiments. There are many support groups around the world and in the United States that can help provide information and treatment to those with AIDS such as amFAR and AIDS support group of Cape Cod.
The epidemic of fear, stigmatization and discrimination has undermined the ability of individuals, families and societies to protect themselves and provide support and reassurance to those affected. This hinders, in no small way, efforts at stemming the epidemic (The Imortance of an AIDS vaccine). It complicates decisions about testing, disclosure of status, and ability to negotiate prevention behaviors, including use of family planning services (HIV & AIDS stigma and discrimination). Until society can look past stigmas with AIDS it will continue to be an uphill battle for finding a cure and conquering the AIDS virus.
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