Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Speaking of HIV

Various illnesses and viruses have emerged nowadays – there are those we called the Swine Flu, the H1N1 virus, and other viruses that have caused panic among the populace.  However, there is still one virus that lingers a deep niche among the public, the bureaucracy and the medical field as well.  This is the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a virus that caused the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) which fatally affects the human's immune system.

Until to date, there has been no cure or treatment yet on HIV; although specific vaccines were already produced that help prevent in acquiring the said virus.

As the adage goes, prevention is still the best cure. Hence, it is better to know how HIV is transmitted and the preventive measures that should be observed in order to avoid acquiring such.

HIV can be transmitted through a mother-to-her child upon birth, blood transmission, and sexual intercourse.

Mother-to-child transmission is possible during pregnancy and, eventually, during giving birth. It can also be transmitted to the child through breastfeeding.  In this case, it is the mother who gets infected first with HIV and her baby just got infected through the mother. Mothers with

HIV is really discouraged to get pregnant.

Blood transmission can be another way of acquiring HIV. This case is very prevalent among drug users who share the same needles when injecting drugs.  Needle exchange is widely discouraged. Also, blood transfusion can also cause one to acquire HIV. This is the primary reason why blood banks should carefully screen blood donors in order to prevent accepting blood, which is contaminated with HIV.

The most common form of acquiring HIV is through sexual intercourse wherein one mate, with HIV, gives the virus to his/her partner. It is in this concern that promiscuous and unsafe sexual activities are strictly discouraged. Multiple sexual partners may also be prone to HIV.

The question now lies – how can one prevent himself/herself to get contaminated with HIV?

The answer to this question is very basic. To avoid HIV, one should be educated about the virus, AIDS, and how the said virus really destroys the lives to most people.  Sex education is very essential, especially among young people in order to prevent the widespread of HIV. People who are active in sex should also be encouraged to use condoms in order to avoid HIV as well as other sexual transmitted diseases. Also, above everything else, people are encouraged to be loyal to a single partner and avoid multiple sexual partners.

Meanwhile, everybody should be aware that HIV chooses no one. People of all ages and from different walks of life can get infected with HIV. Hence, it is very ideal that people should be educated about HIV and AIDS.  Such campaign may appear too many already as a cliché but, in hindsight, if people nowadays are already learned and very aware about HIV, then how come the number of people who got infected with HIV is still growing. Sadly, to say, most nations that have a high number of HIV incidents are the developing ones.  In retrospect, people should still be made aware and be educated further on how to prevent HIV infection. It is not necessary that fear will be inculcated in the teachings so that people will really “fear” HIV; but discipline and restrain from the activities that expose one in HIV should be highlighted much in the campaign.

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