Sexual Behavior Since the AIDS Epidemic Essay

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Few phenomena have changed the face of sexuality as dramatically as the appearance nearly 30 years ago of the microscopic virus known as HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HIV s the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS (CDC, 2013). AIDS is a medical condition that is named because HIV is acquired and subsequently affects the body’s immune system to the point where it often becomes deficient in combating disease causing organisms, resulting a group of symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease or syndrome. The World Health Organization states that HIV continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than…show more content…
Conversely, a person who inserts his penis into an infected partner is also at risk since HIV can enter through the urethra or through small cuts, abrasions, or open sores on the penis. Some people mistakenly believe that only men who have sex with men are at risk of HIV through anal sex. However, a national study of men and women 15–44 years of age found that 35% of women have had anal sex with an other-sex partner (National Center for Health Statistics, 2005). Vaginal sex is also another quite risky sexual behavior as an HIV transmission route, especially for women, and is the most common way HIV is transmitted in much of the world. In women, the lining of the vagina can tear and possibly allow HIV to enter the body. HIV can also be directly absorbed through the mucous membranes that line the vagina and cervix (Yarber, Sayad & Strong, 2009). Adolescent females are biologically more susceptible to HIV than older women because their immature cervixes may be more easily infected. However, the virus can enter the bloodstream through the urethra or through small cuts or open sores on the penis. Menstrual blood containing HIV can also facilitate transmission of the virus to a sex partner. Some behaviors and conditions that put individuals at greater risk of contracting HIV include having unprotected
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