HIV and AIDS as an Emerging Disease

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HIVand AIDS as an Emerging Disease

HIV/AIDSFact Sheet

History

  • It is believed that the disease originated from the Democratic Republic of Congo from mid to late 1970s and it was passed from monkeys to human beings (De Cork et al., 2012).

  • It was in 1979 when the first case of the infection in humans was identified, though researchers claim that the transfer of the disease from animals might have occurred some decades earlier.

  • The person to be infected was a Congolese but there is no official documents indicating how the individual got the virus.

  • Prior to 1980 there were no specific statistics indicating the number of people infected with the virus and people recognized it through some signs and symptoms.

Historyof the disease in United States

  • According to De Cork et al., (2012), awareness of the disease in United States began in 1980’s. It was first reported to the health department the same year. The sector subsequently recognized it as a new health condition.

  • In 1981, some homosexuals began dying mysteriously and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded the symptoms of the unknown disease. Sadly, one hundred and twenty gay men died the same year from cases of extreme immune deficiency.

  • In 1982, researchers from Southern California confirmed that the cause of the condition was sexual. Initially, the infection was being referred as GRID, which were initials for Gay Related Immune deficiency.

  • It was in September the same year that CDC termed the mysterious disease as an Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and a first AIDs health center was established in San Francisco prior to other parts of the world.

Implicationsof the spread of the disease

  • When the virus spreads, it cause weakness and consequently death. As time passes the infected individuals become weak in such a way that they cannot execute their usual duties appropriately (Bekele et al., 2013).

  • As a result, the society loses its workforce and a declining economy may be detected both from incomplete execution of duties as well as finances set aside to cater for such people. Bekele et al., (2013) also adds that the society is also affected when such people die.

Howto detect HIV/AIDS in the body

  • Curran et al., (2012), states that it takes approximate three months after being infected with the virus for the antibodies to be detected through the Rapid tests or the Antibody tests.

  • The duration is referred to as the window period. Blood-based tests done in the laboratories may detect the infection sooner as compared to the rapid test.

  • However, research is being conducted to come up with tests that can detect both antigens and the antibodies at an early stage of the infection.

  • The immunoassay, which is another term for the antibody screenings, assesses the antibodies that have been generated by the body against the virus.

  • An individual is encouraged to go for tests if symptoms like fever, fatigue, sore throat, night sweats, muscle aches, mouth ulcers and swollen lymph nodes appear. They last from few days after infection to several weeks and months.

Prevention

  • An uninfected person should exercise safe sexual behaviors. For instance, using condoms whenever indulging in sexual activities. Another sexual behavior that would help prevent the disease is being faithful to only one partner (Curran et al., 2012).

  • Avoiding the usage of needles and other sharp objects that have been used by other people is another way of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDs.

  • Curran (2012), adds that mothers who are infected should avoid breastfeeding their infants to avoid passing of the virus to the new born.

Treatmentof the disease

  • Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is used for the treatment of the disease. However, the virus is not entirely eliminated from the body rather neutralized. The medications reduce the amount of virus in the patient’s blood.

  • After taking the drugs, patients increase their life span and remain healthy (Cohen et al., 2016). The doctors dictates the stage at which a patient is supposed to be subjected to the medication.

Beneficiariesof the fact sheet

  • The above information and fact sheet may be important to patients who need to know the ideal ways of neutralizing the effects of the disease they have.

  • Schools may also benefit from the information. The students may get awareness of the virus and take precautionary measures. They may also use the information to help friends and relatives who are already infected.

  • Nurses too may benefit from the fact sheet. They can know the trend at which this disease is spreading and the manner in which to curb it.

  • Health care facilities may use some of the information highlighted to introduce safe ways of treating the patients.

References

Bekele,T., Rourke, S. B., Tucker, R., Greene, S., Sobota, M., Koornstra, J.,… &amp Hwang, S. W. (2013). Direct and indirect effects ofperceived social support on health-related quality of life in personsliving with HIV/AIDS. AIDScare,25(3),337-346.

Cohen,M. S., Chen, Y. Q., McCauley, M., Gamble, T., Hosseinipour, M. C.,Kumarasamy, N. &amp Godbole, S. V. (2016). Antiretroviral therapyfor the prevention of HIV-1 transmission. NewEngland Journal of Medicine,375(9),830-839.

Curran,K., Baeten, J. M., Coates, T. J., Kurth, A., Mugo, N. R., &ampCelum, C. (2012). HIV-1 prevention for HIV-1 serodiscordant couples.CurrentHIV/AIDS Reports,9(2),160-170.

DeCock, K. M., Jaffe, H. W., &amp Curran, J. W. (2012). The evolvingepidemiology of HIV/AIDS. Aids,26(10),1205-1213.

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