Aids/Hiv Essay 10

637 Words Oct 14th, 1999 3 Pages
AIDS/HIV

The HIV virus poses one of the biggest viral threats to human society today. It is contracted through bodily fluids such as blood and semen, and sometimes even saliva and tears. AIDS kills 100% of its victims and puts them through agony before they die. It has been a threat for about 15 years, and it is not going to stop now. In fact, AIDS is just getting started: It consumes more people each year. There is no known treatment for it either, only antibiotics to slow the reproduction of the virus. HIV is passed from one person to another by bodily fluids only. It is usually gotten through sexual intercourse or other intimate contact, through the exchanging of unsterilized intravenous needles, or by the contact of
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The life expectancy of an AIDS victim after the birth of symptoms is 1 to 5 years. AIDS was believed to have begun in Central Africa around 1979. Nearly all of the first AIDS patients were male homosexuals. However, after 1989 90% of all new cases of AIDS were from heterosexual intercourse. Public awareness rose as famous people began to die, like Rock Hudson, Perry Ellis, Michael Bennett,
Robert Mapplethorpe, and Tony Richardson. Basketball star Magic Johnson also reported having AIDS. The approximate number of AIDS cases in the U.S. alone is
65,000 and growing. So far, there is no treatment or vaccination for AIDS. With most viruses, the body produces antibodies that eventually destroy the virus.
However, with HIV, natural antibodies are completely ineffective. Blood tests will not give accurate results of infection of HIV until between 2 weeks and 3 months after the initial infection. In 1987, the drug AZT (azidothymidine) had proved effective in slowing the growth of the virus, but it was lethal in large doses and some patients could not handle taking it at all. There was a new HIV- fighting chemical scientists found called DDI (dideoxyinosine) that was not as harmful to the patient and could be used in AZT¹s place for more sensitive patients. In 1992 DDC (zalcitbine) was found to be useful for delaying the reproduction of HIV in patients with advanced AIDS, but only in conjunction with
AZT. AIDS is one of an epidemic of super-deadly

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