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The Epidemiology Of Hiv/Aids Essay

2064 words - 9 pages


The Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS Michael Reynolds Grand Canyon University: NRS-434V 08/28/2014



The Epidemiology of HIV/AIDS In June of 1981 the CDC published a report titled “Pneumocystis Pneumonia – Los Angeles.” This report is often noted as the beginning of AIDS awareness (, 2014a). Since its discovery, the World Health Organization (WHO, 2014) estimates over 33 million people have been infected worldwide, 47% women and 33% children ages 15-24. More than 25 million men, women and children have died from this devastating viral infection. It is a worldwide pandemic that affects only humans. The virus is ...view middle of the document...

Recreational injection drug users and occupations, such as nursing, are at risk because they are exposed to contaminated needles. Mothers with HIV can pass the virus to her infant via her breast milk. Receiving a blood transfusion or an organ



transplant poses a risk to the recipient. Host body fluids must come into direct contact with damaged tissue, such as an open wound or sore, or a mucous membrane (e.g., the lining of the rectum or urogenital tract). HIV cannot be spread by air, insects (such as mosquitoes), water, saliva, sweat, tears, casual contact (such as shaking hands, hugging or kissing), nor by toilet seats. The HIV virus does not live for long outside the body (, 2014c). Certain lifestyle behaviors increase the risk for acquiring HIV. Due to the high density of HIV in sexual organ secretions, it is highly recommended to know the HIV status of sexual partners and to use condoms as a protective barrier during intercourse. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH) recommends avoiding unprotected sex with multiple and/or anonymous partners (, 2014c). Engaging in sexual contact while exhibiting the symptoms of or with people who have open sores (e.g., from syphilis, genital herpes, gonorrhea), is discouraged. A higher incidence of infection has been associated with peoples of low- to middle- economic (e.g., South Africa) which is partly influenced by lack of access to education, medical resources, and financial resources for items such as condoms, uncontaminated needles, and alternatives to breastfeeding (, 2014b). The initial infection of the HIV virus (Stage I) usually results in the susceptible person experiencing flu-like symptoms (e.g., fever, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and groin areas) within 2-4 weeks (, 2014c;, 2014c;, 2014a). Many people describe this period as “the worst flu ever.” These symptoms usually disappear within a few days or weeks, and not all infected individuals exhibit these symptoms. Following the initial flu-like symptoms, people are generally asymptomatic for about 10 years. During this stage (Stage II), the virus is active in the lymph nodes and busy replicating



itself and the body, recognizing the invasion, stimulates the immune system to create antigens (proteins specific to fighting HIV) for defense. HIV testing involves testing for these proteins in the blood (, 2014b). Currently, there is not test for viral detection. In Stage III, infected persons show symptoms of an opportunistic infection. Examples of opportunistic infections include Pneumocystis carnii Pneumonia (PCP), Kaposi’s Sarcoma, oral candidiasis, toxoplasmosis, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and the herpes simplex virus, just to name a few. Patients with HIV may also experience body wasting (<10% BMI), or severe weight loss. AIDS...

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