Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is human viral disease that ravages the immune system, undermining the body's ability to defend itself from infection and disease. Caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS leaves an infected person vulnerable to opportunistic infections.
In fact, the teenagers are most typically affected by AIDS and also people who have sexual contact with someone who has HIV. As of the end of 2003, an estimated 40 million people worldwide - 37 million adults and 2.5 million children younger than 15 years were living with HIV/AIDS.
Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in sub-Saharan Africa, where the number of AIDS cases far exceeds that of all other geographic regions. Of the estimated 14,000 HIV infections that occur each day worldwide, about half of these infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa. About 70 percent of all people infected with HIV live in this region. In some countries in the southern part of the continent, including Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe, more than 30 percent of the population has HIV infection or AIDS.
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The only way to determine whether you are infected is to be tested for HIV infection. You can't rely on symptoms to know whether or not you are infected with HIV. Many people who are infected with HIV don't have any symptoms at all for many years. While no medical treatment cures AIDS, in the relatively short time since the disease was first recognized, new methods to treat the disease have developed rapidly.
Health-care professionals focus on three areas of therapy for people living with HIV infection or AIDS: antiretroviral therapy using drugs that suppress HIV replication; medications and other treatments that fight the opportunistic infections and cancers that commonly accompany HIV infection; and support mechanisms that help people deal with the emotional repercussions as well as the practical considerations of living with a disabling, potentially fatal disease.
A life of a person with HIV/AIDS is not a perfect life. People with AIDS/HIV are responsible for making medical appointment and taking medicines. They also participate in a Clinic Trial and they tell others about their own experience so that others are more responsible. They live just like others, but they always have to worry about infections or side-effect that will occur soon or later. The life of a person with AIDS depends on his or her own attitude.
In South Africa and sub-Sahara region of Africa, Two modes of transmission account for virtually all cases of infection in Africa. The most significant has been heterosexual intercourse. Spread of the virus has been facilitated by a tradition of men having multiple sexual partners. The increased mobility of the African population has also helped the spread of HIV. The earliest lines of transmission were along roads carrying heavy truck traffic, with the infection points being rest stops where prostitutes served truckers. Both populations soon became infected and began spreading the disease to others.
As it has progressed, infection rates have grown more rapidly among females, especially younger ones. Several factors are responsible for this trend. First and foremost, condom use is limited, either because its protective value is unknown or because it is disliked. In addition, teenage African girls often start their sex lives with older men--whether married to them or not--who are more likely to be infected than boys their age.
At the same time, as knowledge of AIDS has spread, men have sought to have sex with even younger girls in the belief that they will not already be infected. And, in many large cities such as Nairobi and Cape Town, cases of rape are on the rise. The increase of HIV among women brings about the second major mode of transmission, which is mother-to-child. More and more babies are entering the world infected, and many healthy newborns are infected through their mothers' milk. Transmission through homosexual sex and intravenous drug use are uncommon in Africa.
Differently than US, African governments have been slow to respond to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, or even to admit that a problem exists. Numbers of orphans are on the rise, an unusual situation in Africa, where extended families and communities traditionally provide childcare. The missing adult population has already begun to affect economic productivity across the board, whether on farms or in factories. The teaching profession has been especially hard hit. These people need better care. This might be the time to get help from the world. They need clean place to live, medical care, and education that will make them more responsible for this situation.
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